Closed-ended question

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Ordinal-scale questions[edit]

Respondents are asked to decide where they fit along a scale continuum. These questions contain an ordered set of answers. A common ordinal scale asks about levels of satisfaction.[1]

Close ended questions[edit]

Any question which can be answered with a simple "yes" or "no", or with a specific piece of information (ie. "Where can I find cheese?" "Aisle 5").[2] Open-ended questions are sometimes phrased as a statement which requires a response.

A closed-ended question contrasts with an open-ended question.

Examples of close-ended questions:

  • Were you born in 1970?
  • Is the capital of France Paris?
  • Did you steal the money?

At the same time, there are closed-ended questions which are sometimes impossible to answer correctly with a yes or no without confusion, for example: "Have you stopped taking heroin?" (if you never took it), see "Loaded question".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dillman D., Smyth J., & Christioan LM. (2009) Internet and Mixed-Mode Surveys. The Tailored Design Method. John Wiley & Sons. New Jersey
  2. ^ Retrieved 17 September 2017.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • Howard Schuman & Stanley Presser (October 1979). "The Open and Closed Question". American Sociological Review. 44 (5): 692–712. JSTOR 2094521. doi:10.2307/2094521.