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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

How to create nice surveys?

Disclaimer: I’m not a psychologist, this is just my personal opinion. There might be some reasons for this behavior, but it is still very annoying. Also, this is about free surveys where the people filling it out are making you a favor. If you provide some kind of compensation for their time (ie. pay them), the situation might be different.

Three things:

  • Give the user feedback on how far along she is in completing the survey
  • Don’t repeat the same damn question in three different forms! I meant what I said the first time and if I wanted to lie, I can lie consistently!
  • Don’t offer that many options! Having a lot of variants can really be confusing, and given the option people will always use only a reduced number of them (most importantly, if you have a “neutral” option, it will be very frequently selected by your participants)

So here is an invitation to such a survey. Got it from the Cranky Middle Management podcast:

You are invited to participate in an online survey on the workplace and negotiation.
This study is being supervised by Dr. Alice Stuhlmacher of DePaul University. They are looking for people to complete the survey who are age 18 or older, currently employed, and fluent in English.

They are trying to learn more about the work environment, worker characteristics, and reactions to negotiation. Your participation is completely anonymous and should take approximately 10-15 minutes. The survey is accessible at:

When you are finished taking the survey, you may forward this invitation to other working adults.  They would like to hear from people of different ages and backgrounds.

If you have any questions, you may e-mail Dr. Stuhlmacher at astuhlma at

And now for a fun survey (which doesn’t make any of the mistakes). The Nerd Test and the Nerd Test v2.0. From Technorama. Below are my geek scores :-).

I am nerdier than 82% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to take the Nerd Test, get nerdy images and jokes, and write on the nerd forum! says I'm a Nerd King.  Click here to take the Nerd Test, get geeky images and jokes, and write on the nerd forum!


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