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Pretesting a Questionnaire

Part 2. Marketing Research

  1. Pamela Grimm

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444316568.wiem02051

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

How to Cite

Grimm, P. 2010. Pretesting a Questionnaire. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing. 2.

Author Information

  1. Kent State University, Kent, OH, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


Pretesting is a very important step in survey research. It is an absolutely necessary step to ensure all kinds of errors that are associated with survey research are reduced. It helps to improve the quality of data significantly. Pretesting is done on a small sample of respondents from the target population. After the pilot test, both the interviewer(s) and respondents are asked a series of questions regarding the survey as well as the process of data collection during the debriefing session. Such debriefing sessions can help detect any problem with the questionnaire design leading to ambiguity of words, misinterpretation of questions, inability to answer a question, sensitive questions, and many other problems associated with the questionnaire as well as the process of administering the survey. It also provides an opportunity to give feedback to the interviewer to ensure that she/he follows the proper protocol of data collection procedures to ensure objectivity in data collection.


  • pretesting;
  • pilot testing;
  • debriefing session;
  • misinterpretation of questions;
  • quality of data