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Encyclopedia Entry

Double-Barreled Question

Kristen Olson

A double-barreled question asks about more than one construct in a single survey question. Best practices for questionnaire design discourage use of certain types of questions. Questions with unknown terms or complicated syntax should not be used when designing a questionnaire. Foremost among these recommendations is to avoid double-barreled questions. The word and is a hallmark of a double-barreled question. Double-barreled questions most frequently arise in attitudinal questions. In these types of questions, two attitude targets (e.g. political candidates and policy decisions) are asked as one construct (e.g. Do you favor candidate X and higher taxes or candidate Y and lower taxes?) . Response formation problems arise when the respondent prefers candidate X ...

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