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Closed-ended question: Wikis

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A closed-ended question is a form of question which can normally be answered using a simple "yes" or "no", a specific simple piece of information, or a selection from multiple choices.

Examples include:

  • Question: Do you know your weight?

Answer: Yes.

  • Question: What is your weight?

Answer: 167 lbs.

Close-ended questions can be used for clarifiying facts, verifying information already given or controlling a conversation, among other things.

Examples of closed-ended questions:

  • Do you get along with your supervisor?
  • What color is that?
  • Is that a photograph of your children?
  • Are you leaving right at 5:00 today?
  • Are you awake?

A closed-ended question contrasts with an open-ended question, which cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or "no", or with a specific piece of information, and which give the person answering the question scope to give the information that seems to them to be appropriate. Open-ended questions are sometimes phrased as a statement which requires a response.

Examples of open-ended questions:

  • Tell me about your relationship with your supervisor.
  • How do you see your future?
  • Tell me about the children in this photograph.
  • What is the purpose of government?
  • Why did you choose that answer?

At the same time, there are close-ended questions which are sometimes impossible to answer correctly with a yes or no without confusion, for example: "have you stopped taking heroin?" (if you never took it), see "Loaded question".


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