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Screening Questions: What are they?

In an age where consumer opinion can be the “make or break” of products and services, it is becoming increasingly important to implement screening questions in the initial process of surveying.

So what are screening questions? Screening questions are questions placed at the beginning of a survey in order to determine whether respondents or households have certain characteristics that would make them eligible to take part in a study. This allows for consumer research studies to make sure that their data is not skewed and can provide helpful information for success.


There are three main advantages to using screening questions.

  1. Lowering Costs
    Screening people’s responses will avoid wasting money on responses that do not provide input that is useful to your research objectives.

  2. Easier data Analysis
    Screening questions eliminates the need to sort and analyze data in the survey which may skew results.

  3. Respondent Bias
    Screening questions remove respondent bias by eliminating people who are likely to unknowingly provide answers with bias. This may stem from a different knowledge or credentials – which can be highlighted through screening questions.



Screening questions can be used in a number of ways to help carefully select potential candidates for a study.

  1. Survey Correct Demographics
    The most common use of screening questions is to ensure the correct target demographic fills out the survey. Screening questions that have references to demographics can be used to develop a group of respondents that match the target audience of the survey.

  2. Legality and Privacy Purposes
    Screening questions are often used for legality and privacy issues, to ensure the company conducting the survey is covered. The most common legal screening question is age, to ensure consent of an adult is not required. The most common legal screening questions is asking for a person’s age.

  3. Measure Credentials
    Screening questions are notably used to measure credentials and knowledge. Studies that target specialized groups use strict screening in order to ensure only qualified people are allowed to respond to the survey.

  4. Knowledge Level
    Depending on the survey purpose, screening questions may assess a respondent’s level of knowledge on a particular subject. While this is the least often utilized screening question, it can be incredibly valuable when a base-level of knowledge is required.

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