DCR-4 Chapter 15 “Designing Questionnaires, Interviews, and Online Surveys”
Use check boxes (squares) to identify response options in “all-that-apply” questions.
(Check all that apply.)
However, checking “all that apply” does not force the respondent to consider each possible item; an unchecked box may mean the item does not apply or was simply overlooked. It is better to ask respondents to mark each possible answer as either “yes” or “no”.
Which of the following do you believe increases the chance of having a stroke?
As demonstrated above, an “all-that-apply” question with 4 possible responses is really 4 single-response questions.
Use radio buttons (circles) to identify response options to single-response questions. The set of possible responses should be mutually exclusive (i.e., the categories should not overlap). When indicated, make the set of response options collectively exhaustive by including an “other (specify)” response.
(Choose only one.)
The visual analog scale (VAS) is another option for recording answers. It is important that the words that anchor each end describe the most extreme values for the item of interest. Here is a VAS for pain severity:
Online Version of Smoking Questions from our Study of Osteoporotic Fractures