What is Straightlining? | Market Research Company in Syracuse NY

What is Straightlining?

When designing surveys online or for mobile, there's a lot of terminology you may hear or read about on Google but not quite grasp. For instance, straightlining? What is straightlining in market research? Straightlining is the act of selecting the same response over and over again down a line of answers on a survey. Straightlining is most common in grid rating questions.

Grid rating questions are typically shown in a table format where your numerical scores are shown along the top (e.g. 0 to 10) and your factors to rate are shown down the side of the question (cost, time, customer service, etc.) Straightlining would be the act of selecting all "10s" or all "3s." 

It is important to check straightlining in your analysis of survey responses. When reviewing your respondent cases you'll normally see the respondent vary his or responses at least once in grid rating scales of 5 or more categories. If you notice straightlining do not immediately discard the case. Use other factors such as open-ended comments and the time it took to complete the survey should be reviewed to make an educated decision on whether or not remove the survey case. If you notice the respondent skipped the open-ended questions and the time to complete the survey was 2 minutes compared to the average of 9 minutes, you can then remove the case.

Questions about how to trap straightlining in your survey efforts or do you need some assistance with your analysis and reporting in Syracuse NY? Drive Research is a market research company in Syracuse and can be contacted at 315-303-2040 or email us at [email protected]. The team at Drive can walk you through some red herring options and other analysis checks to ensure your data is 100% accurate.

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