What is a Red Herring? | Market Research Company in Albany, NY

November 20, 2016

One way to separate the true survey respondents from the reward giveaway abusers is to insert a red herring question in your questionnaire. What is a red herring question? A red herring question is a quality control measure in a survey by which you place oddball question within a series of regular questions to easily identify those who fully read and engaged in the survey and those who are not.

 

 

At the conclusion of fieldwork, you can filter your data to show the respondents who need to removed from final analysis. Many red herring questions occur in likert scale grid questions where respondents are asked to rate a number of factors using a 1 to 5 scale or a 0 to 10 scale. In these grid questions, the red herring question will often ask the respondent to select a specific number (e.g., select 4 or select 2) within the grid series.

 

Here is an example of a red herring question in a survey:

 

13. Company ABC is considered a brand leader.

Ο Strongly Agree     Ο Somewhat Agree     Ο Somewhat Disagree     Ο Strongly Disagree

 

14. Please select 'Somewhat Disagree' below.

Ο Strongly Agree     Ο Somewhat Agree     Ο Somewhat Disagree     Ο Strongly Disagree

 

15. Company ABC's customer service is available when needed.

Ο Strongly Agree     Ο Somewhat Agree     Ο Somewhat Disagree     Ο Strongly Disagree

 

The Drive Research blog offers a series of market research 101 and market research tips. Questions about your next market research project? Contact us at 315-303-2040 or at info@driveresearch.com.

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