Dave Vannette

Author Bio

Dave Vannette is a contributor to the Qualtrics blog.

Articles written by Dave Vannette


Rating or Ranking: Choosing the best question type for your data

When it comes to surveys, how you ask each question may be just as important to your data quality as what you ask. It can be tricky to decide what type of question to use to get the most useful dat...

3 min read


Three tips for effectively designing rating scales

Survey data are only as good as the questions asked and the way we ask them. To that end, let’s talk survey rating scales such as Likert scales. Some of the common questions researchers when setting...

5 min read


How to Label Response Scale Points in Your Survey to Avoid Misdirecting Respondents

Have you ever been following navigation instructions while driving and wished that an instruction or street sign would’ve been more clear or specific? Maybe you couldn’t tell in time which lane le...

2 min read


6 Ways to Pretest Your Survey Before You Send It

Time is money, and often researchers want to send their surveys to respondents as quickly as possible, many times untested. But rushing to distribute a survey can often result in unforeseen problems w...

4 min read


Survey Straightlining: What is it? How can it hurt you? And how to protect against it.

Straightlining. It’s the bane of survey writers. It happens when your respondents rush through your survey clicking on the same response every time and it’s a serious threat to data quality. &n...

3 min read


Using Attention Checks in Your Surveys May Harm Data Quality

Thinking of checking up on respondent attention mid-survey to make sure that you’re getting good data? Think again. In this article, we highlight how new findings from our Qualtrics Methodology L...

9 min read


Why Using Grid Questions Is Probably Hurting Your Data

Even for experienced researchers, intuition about survey design often runs counter to best practices outlined in survey methodology literature. One of the question types that we see used in web survey...

3 min read


The Dos and Don'ts of Ranking Questions

Ranking questions are an important asset in the survey designers’ toolbox, but they can be tricky to use effectively. Researchers often want to ask respondents to rank huge lists to see what people ...

3 min read


Biased data are bad data: How to think about question order

The order in which you ask questions can make a huge difference in your data. If you’re not careful, you can inadvertently anchor your respondents and bias your data. And no one wants that. A cla...

4 min read


Why Including “Don’t Know” Responses Is Hurting Your Survey Data

One of the more common mistakes survey writers make is including a “don’t know” or “no opinion” response. Doing so provides an easy way for respondents to avoid engaging with the subject of ...

3 min read


Avoiding the ‘Yes’ Bias

It’s often harder to say ‘no’ than ‘yes.’ This has been the subject of numerous self-help book chapters and blog posts. However, many people are surprised to learn that this is also a seriou...

3 min read


Optimal Scale Labels: Why They Matter

In our last post, we discussed how many scale points to use and when. We also noted that you’ll get the best data when you verbally label every point.   So, how should you go about labeli...

3 min read


Sources of Error in Survey Research

Our post last week outlined the steps of conducting a good survey. This week, we turn to sources of errors in survey research. In this context, errors should not be interpreted to mean “mistakes...

4 min read