ARSENIO’S ESL PODCAST | SEASON 5 EPISODE 114 | Critical Thinking | Identifying Loaded questions

Loaded questions contain assumptions that trap the respondent. The answer given will fit the interviewer’s agenda, but may not reflect the truth. You can see this just about anywhere in the world on any news channel PERIOD.

Have you stopped spending too much money?

Possible answers: Yes, (I used to spend too much). / No. (I still spend too much.)

The interviewer’s agenda is forcing the respondent to admit to spending too much money at some point. To escape the trap, the respondent needs to step outside the restricted range of answers to deny the underlying assumption.

I have never spent too much money.

Other examples of problem questions include:

Leading: What were you doing at 3pm on the day of the crime?

Suggestive: Don’t you think people should work harder?

Review some of the questions from the interviews in Market research. Identify the loaded quesitons.

  1. Why did you choose to come shopping here today?
  2. Would you be more or less likely to buy this brand if you knew it was suspected of being linked to obesity?
  3. Did you buy anything unplanned?
  4. What choices did you make in terms of actual stores, and what were the determining factors in those choices?
  5. Would it affect the amount of this cereal you ate if no studies had been done on its nutritional value?
  6. If a new product was cheaper than this brand, would you change to th enew brand?


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