Learning and Evaluation/Archive/Learning modules/3Avoid Double Negatives

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Part 1: Introduction

Why Survey?
Why Surveys Are Useful
Survey instruments
Types of information
Attributes - a special case
Survey Objective and Planning

Part 2: Reliability & Validity

Reliability & Validity
Face Validity
Content Validity
Criterion Validity
Construct Validity

Part 3: Question Construction

Writing Good Questions
Questions from Existing Surveys
Constructing your own Questions
Be Specific
Be Concise
Avoid Double Negatives
Minimize Social Desirability Bias
Avoid Double-barreled questions
Avoid abbreviations, jargon, technical terms, or slang
Avoid leading questions
Avoid loaded questions
Use appropriate wording
Ask useful questions
Rely on second-hand data sparsely
Use caution when asking personal questions

Part 4: Response Options

Question types
Dichotomous pairs
Multiple choice
Check all that apply
Choosing response options

Part 5: Questionnaire structure

Important considerations
Questions order
Additional Resources

  Wikimedia Training Designing Effective Questions Menu

Avoid Double Negatives

Measuring a person’s participation level in a series of Edit-a-thons.

Very Poor:
Do you disagree that the weekly edit-a-thon at the local library should not be continued?
This question contains a double negative that is both confusing and misleading.
Do you agree or disagree that the weekly edit-a-thon at the local library should not be continued?
This question is still poor because a respondent might become confused or spend too long thinking what the question is asking.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement: The weekly edit-a-thon at the public library should continue.
By separating the question from the statement, respondent might be better able to distinguish between the question being asked and the subject of the question so they can provide an answer easily.