Do you agree with the United Nation’s endorsement to include nuclear power in the list of renewable energies? Do you think that the United Nations should act more fiercely to tackle climate change?

Do you think that you would have answered differently if those questions were asked in reverse order?

We might think that our choices would not be affected by something as trivial as the order of questions. But behavioral science has shown that the way we answer and interpret questions is affected by context and biases.

When programming a survey, one technique that does help minimize this bias is to randomize the order of questions. Randomizing the order of statements gives the researcher some certainty that aggregate responses are not influenced by the order in which questions were asked.

In practice, this can quickly snowball into a massive task. In this technical brief we have set out several steps outlining an effective way to randomize the order of questions using SurveyCTO and Stata.

Technical brief: Tackling question order effects to improve the accuracy of your survey