There are a variety of formats that can be used in asking survey questions, from items that require a simple “yes” or “no” response to other types of forced-choice items, rating scales, and multi-part items in which respondents' opinions are determined through a series of questions. Ranking is a question response format used when a researcher is interested in establishing some type of priority among a set of objects, whether they be policies, attributes, organizations, individuals, or some other topic or property of interest.

For example, if city officials were interested in whether citizens thought it was most important to improve city services in the area of police protection, fire protection, garbage and trash collection, road maintenance and repair, or parks and recreation, one method they ...

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