50+ Bad Survey Questions You Must Avoid in Your Questionnaire

Bad Survey Questions

Surveys play a crucial role in gathering insights and data for various purposes, from market research to customer feedback. However, the effectiveness of a survey heavily relies on the quality of the questions asked.

Have you ever participated in a survey and felt frustrated or confused by the questions being asked? Asking bad survey questions can not only lead to inaccurate data but also affect the overall success of your research.

In this article, we will explore the common mistakes researchers make when crafting survey questions and provide tips on how to avoid them.

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Why are bad survey questions a problem?

Bad survey questions can be a problem for several reasons.

Firstly, they can lead to inaccurate or misleading data, which can in turn result in poor decision-making.

If the questions are confusing, biased, or unclear, respondents may provide answers that do not truly reflect their opinions or experiences. This can undermine the validity and reliability of the survey results.

Moreover, bad survey questions can also lead to low response rates and respondent dissatisfaction. If the questions are irrelevant or poorly constructed, respondents may become frustrated and disengaged, leading to incomplete surveys or even survey abandonment.

This can impact the overall quality of the data collected and make it challenging to draw meaningful conclusions from the survey results.

Therefore, ensuring that survey questions are well-designed and carefully crafted is essential for obtaining accurate and valuable insights.

Can bad survey questions affect response rates?

Yes, bad survey questions can affect response rates. When survey questions are unclear, confusing, or irrelevant, respondents may feel frustrated and be less motivated to complete the survey.

They may also provide inaccurate or incomplete responses, which can compromise the quality of the data collected.

To improve response rates, it’s important to ensure that survey questions are well-crafted and easy to understand. Use clear language, avoid leading or biased questions, and keep the survey focused on relevant topics.

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How can I identify bad survey questions?

One way to spot a bad survey question is to look for ambiguity or vagueness. If the question is open to interpretation or could be understood in multiple ways, it may lead to inconsistent responses and unreliable results.

Additionally, watch out for leading or biased questions that push respondents toward a specific answer. These can skew the data and compromise the survey’s validity.

Another red flag for bad survey questions is complexity. If a question is overly complicated or convoluted, it may confuse respondents and lead to inaccurate responses.

Keep an eye out for jargon or technical language that might not be easily understood by all participants.

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What should I do if I’ve already used bad survey questions in my research?

If you have made some errors in creating your survey, here’s how to remedy the situation.

The first step is to acknowledge that the survey questions may not have been ideal, and that’s okay. Take a moment to reflect on what went wrong and why the questions were not effective. This self-awareness will help you avoid making the same mistake in future research.

Next, consider reaching out to participants who completed the survey and explaining that you’ve identified some issues with the questions.

You can express your gratitude for their participation and assure them that their feedback is still valuable. If possible, you could also consider conducting follow-up interviews or focus groups to gather more nuanced insights.

Remember, mistakes are opportunities for growth, so use this experience as a learning opportunity for improving your future research endeavors.

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Bad Survey Questions You Must Avoid in Your Questionnaire

General Bad Survey Questions

  1. Do you like surveys?
  2. Are you a human?
  3. Are you over 18? (Unless necessary)
  4. What is your social security number?
  5. How much money do you make?
  6. Are you married?
  7. What is your IQ?
  8. Are you happy with your weight?
  9. Do you have any health problems?
  10. What’s your political affiliation?
  11. How many times do you use the bathroom per day?
  12. Are you a morning person?
  13. Do you like the color blue?
  14. Do you have any pets?
  15. What’s your favorite TV show?
  16. Do you like breathing?
  17. How many hours of sleep do you get?
  18. Have you ever been to prison?
  19. Do you like pineapple on pizza?
  20. What’s your favorite number?
  21. Are you a cat or dog person?
  22. Do you believe in aliens?
  23. Do you wear socks to bed?
  24. What’s your favorite season?
  25. Do you like cheese?
  26. How often do you floss?
  27. What’s your favorite type of weather?
  28. Do you prefer Coke or Pepsi?
  29. Do you believe in ghosts?
  30. How many siblings do you have?
  31. Do you like chocolate?
  32. Are you afraid of clowns?
  33. Do you like to dance?
  34. How often do you clip your toenails?
  35. Do you believe in Bigfoot?
  36. What’s your favorite smell?
  37. Do you prefer showers or baths?
  38. How often do you change your underwear?
  39. Do you like surprises?
  40. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
  41. Do you believe in luck?
  42. Are you afraid of spiders?
  43. What’s your favorite type of tree?
  44. Do you believe in fate?
  45. Do you prefer texting or calling?
  46. How many cavities have you had?
  47. Do you like rainbows?
  48. What’s your favorite type of cheese?
  49. Do you believe in astrology?
  50. Are you afraid of heights?
  51. How often do you trim your fingernails?
  52. Do you believe in karma?
  53. Do you like sushi?
  54. What’s your favorite type of bread?
  55. Are you a morning or night showerer?
  56. Do you believe in Santa Claus?
  57. What’s your favorite type of fruit?
  58. Do you like spicy food?
  59. Are you afraid of the dark?
  60. How often do you shave your legs?
  61. Do you believe in love at first sight?
  62. What’s your favorite type of vegetable?
  63. Do you believe in destiny?
  64. Are you afraid of snakes?
  65. How often do you brush your teeth?
  66. Do you believe in the Loch Ness Monster?
  67. What’s your favorite type of meat?
  68. Do you believe in soulmates?
  69. Are you afraid of public speaking?
  70. How often do you change your bed sheets?
  71. Do you believe in the Bermuda Triangle?
  72. What’s your favorite type of pasta?
  73. Do you believe in telekinesis?
  74. Are you afraid of thunderstorms?
  75. How often do you eat fast food?
  76. Do you believe in the power of crystals?
  77. What’s your favorite type of candy?
  78. Do you believe in deja vu?
  79. Are you afraid of flying?
  80. How often do you eat vegetables?
  81. Do you believe in the Illuminati?
  82. What’s your favorite type of cake?
  83. Do you believe in the concept of time travel?
  84. Are you afraid of needles?
  85. How often do you eat fruits?
  86. Do you believe in the existence of mermaids?
  87. What’s your favorite type of pie?
  88. Do you believe in the law of attraction?
  89. Are you afraid of ghosts?
  90. How often do you eat dessert?
  91. Do you believe in the existence of vampires?
  92. What’s your favorite type of cookie?
  93. Do you believe in alien abductions?
  94. Are you afraid of zombies?
  95. How often do you eat snacks?
  96. Do you believe in the existence of werewolves?
  97. What’s your favorite type of chocolate?
  98. Do you believe in the power of positive thinking?
  99. Are you afraid of werewolves?
  100. How often do you eat junk food?
  1. Have you ever been diagnosed with a mental illness?
  2. How often do you experience anxiety or depression?
  3. Do you think you have a split personality?
  4. Have you ever had suicidal thoughts?
  5. How often do you have nightmares?
  6. Are you satisfied with your level of intelligence?
  7. Do you think you have unresolved childhood traumas?
  8. Have you ever been addicted to drugs or alcohol?
  9. Do you often feel like people are watching you?
  10. How often do you engage in self-harming behaviors?

Other Bad Questions You Should Avoid

  1. Leading Questions: Questions that suggest a particular answer or bias the respondent. Example: “Don’t you agree that our product is the best on the market?”
  2. Double-Barreled Questions: Questions that ask about more than one issue at a time, making it difficult for respondents to answer accurately. Example: “Do you find our website easy to navigate and visually appealing?”
  3. Ambiguous Questions: Questions that are unclear or open to interpretation. Example: “How often do you exercise?” (Exercise could mean different activities to different people.)
  4. Loaded Questions: Questions that contain emotionally charged or controversial language. Example: “Do you still support policies that harm the environment?”
  5. Biased Questions: Questions that steer respondents toward a particular response through wording or context. Example: “Considering the economic benefits, do you support outsourcing jobs overseas?”
  6. Assumptive Questions: Questions that assume facts not in evidence. Example: “How much do you enjoy using our new and improved app?” (Assumes the respondent finds the app enjoyable.)
  7. Overly Complex Questions: Questions that are overly long, convoluted, or difficult to understand. Example: “In relation to the current market trends and your personal financial goals, how likely are you to invest in a diversified portfolio over the next fiscal quarter?”
  8. Invasive Questions: Questions that pry into personal or private matters unnecessarily. Example: “How much do you weigh?”
  9. Hypothetical Questions: Questions that ask respondents to speculate about situations they may not have experienced. Example: “How would you feel if you lost your job tomorrow?”
  10. Irrelevant Questions: Questions that have no bearing on the survey’s objectives or the respondent’s experiences. Example: “What’s your favorite type of music?” in a survey about customer satisfaction with a mobile phone service.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any common mistakes to avoid when writing survey questions?

Yes, such as using jargon, assuming knowledge, or asking leading questions.

How can I improve my survey question writing skills?

Practice writing clear and unbiased questions, and seek feedback from others.

Can bad survey questions harm the reputation of my organization?

Yes, they may create a negative impression of your company’s professionalism and competence.


The importance of well-crafted survey questions cannot be overstated. Bad survey questions can lead to inaccurate data, misinterpretation, and ultimately flawed decision-making.

Researchers and organizations must invest time and effort into designing clear, unbiased, and relevant survey questions to ensure the reliability and validity of their data.

Let’s commit to improving our survey question skills and striving for excellence in gathering meaningful data that truly reflects the needs and opinions of our target audience.