Open Questions

Posted in Marketing and Strategy Terms, Total Reads: 742

Definition: Open Questions

Open ended questions are those questions which solicit additional information from respondents in their own words. Open ended questions are usually used in qualitative research; however they can also be used in quantitative research to get more information and insight into an issue.

Sometimes, they are called infinite response or unstructured type questions. By definition, they require more than one or two word responses.

The beauty of an open ended question is that it might yield a range of answers that the researcher would not have considered.

Open ended questions are generally preferred when

• Unforeseen Reponses are likely to emerge

• Unbiased and spontaneous responses are desired

• Sensitive issues which require more than simple yes/no

• Rapport- building is required

Generally marketing surveys are a mix of both open ended and close ended questions.


o Which of the following is appealing feature in our product? This is close ended question. Instead, you can ask respondents why do you think product is appealing or not appealing?

o How was your experience with our service?

Pros: Open-ended question are perceived as less threatening, allow an unrestrained or spontaneous response. They go well with articulate users.

Cons: Can be time-consuming, may result in unnecessary information, and may require more effort to analyze on the part of the inquirer.



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