How to Design Questionnaires That People Want to Answer

A practical workshop for researchers who care about people
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Type On demand
Digital Yes

Welcome to Virtual Academy On-Demand

This exclusive on-demand training offers you access to six-hours of content, split into three engaging sessions. Designed to enhance your skills at your own pace and convenience, you'll be able to download resources, see the trainer's contact information and earn a certificate upon course completion.


If you want people to give you complete and honest answers about all aspects of their public and private lives, you need to create a research environment that shows them they are trusted, respected, and engaged.

In this highly interactive masterclass, you will learn about the psychology of answering questions and how to apply that knowledge in a practical way to questionnaire design. We will learn to create questions that make people feel valued and respected, that accommodate normal human behaviours no matter how strange those behaviours may be, and that make people look forward to participating in the next research project.

What will you learn?

After completing this training, you should be able to:

  • Understand how human psychology interacts with the questionnaire experience and how to write questions that accommodate normal behaviours

  • Write questions that are kind and respectful towards people who are marginalised and people who are embarrassed to share personal aspects of their lives

  • Write questionnaires that people want to answer this time and the next

  • Write questions that are fun and playful

By the end of the workshop, you will have built a set of resources that can be leveraged in a range of future questionnaires.

Who should attend?

Both agency and corporate researchers who wish to build on their foundational questionnaire design knowledge and create better research experiences for people will benefit from this masterclass.

Level of learning?  

You should already have a basic understanding of questionnaire design from a social or marketing research perspective.

Programme at a glance

Session 1: Understanding human nature

  • How does human psychology impact how people interpret and respond to questionnaires

  • What are some basic rules for creating respectful questionnaires

Session 2: Making tough topics more comfortable

  • Creating compassionate screener questions

  • Writing respectful data quality questions

  • Asking about embarrassing or private issues

  • Eliciting truth when it comes to unethical and illegal behaviours

Session 3: Creating a playful experience for everyone

  • How to write playful questions that excite and make people think

  • Incorporating play into serious topics


This was a fantastic set of workshops digging into the nuance of questionnaire design. I will now apply these specific approaches to draw out truth, encourage often unheard viewpoints and improve data quality, all with a sense of fun and inclusivity. The VA experience was seamless. Working together on shared documents cemented the knowledge so I can put it into practice immediately, no need to return to my notes.

- Nic P

How to Design Questionnaires People Want to Answer from ESOMAR was a very interesting training in which I learned about the psychology of answering questions, how to identify the correct respondents, and how to design playful questionnaires for higher response rates.

- Ingrid B


Annie Pettit, PhD, CAIP, FCRIC
Chief Research Officer, North America at E2E Research Services Pvt Ltd