Information Differences Between Closed-ended and Open-ended Survey Questions for High-technology Products

Document Type


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Survey, questionnaires, closed-ended, open-ended, quantitative research


Many businesses collect survey data that has two dimensions of satisfaction; namely, quantitative scores to specific questions (closed-ended) and specific comments also associated with the same questions (open-ended). The statistical evaluation from the dimension of quantitative responses is easily tabulated and subject to statistical analysis; however, the analysis and presentation of the comments usually consist of no more than tabulated Pareto charts. While there is software available to extract and summarize the comments, it is rarely performed on an ongoing basis. The concern voiced most often is the content of the comments contain information that may not be contained in the quantitative measures. This research provides a detailed comparison of the open-ended questions and closed-ended questions for a computer product company and a company that manufactures medical electronic equipment. While the results of the comparison do not show a strict one-to-one correspondence between the two types of measures of satisfaction, the evidence indicates that the results are strikingly similar. The conclusion is the closed-ended questions provide metrics which generally track the results found in the open-ended questions and there are no apparent gaps between the two sets of information

Publication Title

Journal of Technology Research


Volume 6