Publication Details

This article was originally published as, Dolnicar, S, Grün, B, and Leisch, F, Quick, simple and reliable : forced binary survey questions, International Journal of Market Research, 53(2), 2011, 231-252. Original item available here.


Consumers are increasingly saturated by market research which leads to decreasing response rates and an increased danger of response bias. Market researchers thus face the challenge of recruiting respondents, increasing response rates and reducing respondent fatigue by making questionnaires as short and pleasant as possible. One way of achieving this is to replace traditionally used ordinal multi-category answer formats (such as Likert scales) with forced binary scales. This proposition is only attractive if it indeed shortens the survey time while not compromising the quality of managerial insights from the data.

This study investigates these conditions. Results from a repeat-measurement design indicate that managerial interpretations do not differ substantially between the two answer formats, responses are equally reliable, and that the binary format is quicker and perceived as less complex.

Link to publisher version (URL)

International Journal of Market Research

Grant Number

ARC/DP0878423, ARC/LX0881890