Survey Question of the Week: Should I Allow Respondents to Back Up In a Survey?

One of our clients, who was using Survey Monkey to adminsiter his survey, asked whether he should use the setting that allows respondents to “back up” in the survey, to review or change the answers to prior questions.

That’s a great question, because it CAN affect the pattern of responses.

When we construct surveys, it’s critical to ensure that any question that might affect another is placed AFTER that other question, not before.  So, if you were asking a client about (a) his or her post-coaching outcomes and (b) the situation pre-coaching, you DON’T want to ask about the outcomes before you ask about the pre-coaching situation.  Doing so could “contaminate” the response to the pre-coaching questions.

I you have a situation like that in a survey and you’ve carefully ordered the questions to avoid contamination effects, you might decide that your settings should not allow a respondent to “back up” in the survey.  However, if no such situation exists, I see no problem with allowing a respondent to review or change his or her responses.

Learn How Survey Questions Can Improve Your Business.

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