Document Type

Journal Article


Response rates in market research are dropping (Bednell &Shaw 2003; Hardy & Kotsomitis 2005). One way to address this problem is to make questionnaires more user-friendly. A key aspect of user-friendliness is the way in which respondents are asked to answer a question. Although much research has been undertaken in comparing reliability and validity of alternative answer formats, only very few studies have compared user-friendliness of answer formats. This study contributes to this field of research by conducting an empirical study comparing five different answer formats: binary (yes-no), 3-point, 7-point, continuous and percentage. Results indicate that the binary, 3-point and 7-point scales were preferred by respondents. These three answer formats were also perceived as equally pleasant and equally capable of capturing the respondents' opinions. The binary format required the least time to be administered.