In the realm of market research surveys, a "trap question" serves as a tool to ensure the authenticity and attentiveness of respondents.

These questions are strategically designed to filter out participants who rush through surveys without paying proper attention or who provide random answers, potentially compromising the integrity of the data collected.

A classic example of a trap question is one that instructs the respondent to select a specific answer, regardless of the question's content, such as "Please select 'Strongly Agree' for this question."

Other examples include asking for consistency in answers that should logically follow from one another or presenting a factually incorrect statement to see if participants are paying attention, like "The capital of France is London; do you agree or disagree?"

To navigate trap questions successfully, the key is attentiveness. You as a participant must read each question carefully and thoughtfully. It's essential to approach each survey genuinely interested in providing accurate and thoughtful responses, rather than merely completing it as quickly as possible.

This approach not only ensures that your data contributes positively to the research but also safeguards against being disqualified for oversight or inattentiveness. By maintaining focus and engaging sincerely with the survey content, respondents can easily avoid the pitfalls of trap questions, thereby enhancing the quality of the research outcomes and ensuring their participation is valued and valid.


Here are five example trap questions:

  1. Consistency Check:
  • Question: "Please select 'Strongly Agree' for this question."
  • Options: Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Neutral, Agree, Strongly Agree
  1. Attention Verification:
  • Question: "To ensure you are reading the questions carefully, please only select 'Other' from the choices below"
  • Options: Coca Cola, Sprite, Root Beer, Other, I do not drink soda
  1. Instruction Compliance:
  • Question: "Select the color that is mentioned in this instruction: Please choose 'Green'."
  • Options: Red, Blue, Green, Yellow
  1. Content Check:
  • Question: "Which of the following is not an option to select for this question?"
  • Options: Apple, Banana, Orange, Giraffe (Correct answer: Giraffe)
  1. Logic Test:
  • Question: "If you are paying attention, select the second option below."
  • Options: First Option, Second Option, Third Option, Fourth Option