Questionnaire Development, Cognitive Testing, and Qualitative Research

Abt SRBI’s instrument design experts work closely with clients to clearly identify research objectives and design survey instruments that achieve those objectives. We employ literature review, expert review, cognitive testing, and careful pretesting in instrument development.
Abt SRBI has on-staff experts in cognitive testing, pretesting, and qualitative research, including in-depth interviewing and focus group moderation.
These instruments help ensure that that the instruments used with respondents are as effective as possible:
  • Cognitive testing investigates how well questions perform when asked of survey respondents. It tests the extent to which respondents understand a question correctly and if they can provide accurate answers. Testing enables researchers to modify and improve question items that are misunderstood by respondents or that are difficult to answer prior to fielding the survey, thereby increasing the overall quality of survey data.
  • Focus groups are a form of qualitative research often used to illuminate underlying issues and better understand the full dimensions of the research. Abt SRBI conducts traditional in-person focus groups, mini groups, and online focus groups.
  • In-depth qualitative interviews are an open-ended, exploration method to allow the interviewer to deeply explore the respondent’s feelings and perspectives on a subject. This results in deep understanding of the research issues, which can shape and/or refine questionnaire items.