TYPES of Questions (Part 1b)

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PREVIOUS: Types of Qs (Part 1a)

SITE: The Incredible Power Of The Right Qs


TYPES of Questions – Subsidiary (Qs)
Qs that extend & stretch the meaning of info being gathered. They take the straightforward (obvious) & see where it might lead, searching below the surface to find implications in the original info (explicit –> implicit). (Reading between the lines, what does this text really mean?”)

Qs that determine the importance, effectiveness, or worth of something or someone. Answers usually require sophisticated levels of thinking & feeling, asking the responder to make evaluations & judgements based on analyzing info at multiple levels & from different perspectives. (“What kind of a teacher was Mr Smith?”)

FACTUALfactual Qs
Qs that ask for reasonably simple, straight forward responses based on obvious facts or awareness. Usually aimed at the most basic level of thinking or feeling (“Did you go to a City College or Ivy League School”?)

Qs that channel the respondent’s answers with a series of Qs that get narrower at each step, starting with open Qs, & ending with closed ones, or vice-versa:
a. From SPECIFIC to BROAD (Deductive)specifics first
Starts by asking a person to remember as many specifics of a situation as possible, & then work toward more general observations (“You saw that hit-&-run accident. What can you tell me about the man & his car?”)
b. From BROAD to SPECIFIC (Inductive)general info first
Here the responder is asked for an overview of a situation, & then using the big picture, try to remember as many specific details as they can (“If everyone has the ability to learn, then why do you think you can’t?”)

Qs designed to explore possibilities & test relationships. They usually project a theory or an option out into the future, wondering what might happen if… Especially helpful when trying to decide between a number of choices, trying to solve a problem, or deciding if hunches, suppositions or hypotheses have any merit (“What do you think would happen of you let yourself be successful?”)

Qs designed to gather facts, searching for needed in a specific context, re some aspect, concept, issue, or problem. They ‘power’ all learning. (“How many inches in a mile?”)

INVENTIVEinventive Qs
Qs that turn findings inside out, upside down. They adjust, alter, distort, modify & rearrange bits & pieces of info – until they produce a Eureka moment – the discovery of something brand new (“If I combine these 5 yarns, I wonder if it would make a beautiful sweater?”)

Qs that are made to distract, sidetrack or divert from the task or conversation at hand. This may be a tactic to keep others off-balance, get away from a sensitive topic or protect the speaker from being caught out. (“So, what did you say about the weather?”)
However, this type of Q can also be beneficial, since the creation of new knowledge almost always requires some wandering off course.
“The search for Truth requires the courage to venture out and away from the familiar and the known ….” From Moby Dick (”How can we understand the unconscious”?)

Qs that explore ideas or facts generally considered off-limits or over-the-top.. They challenge far more than conventional wisdom, holding no respect for authority, institutions or myths, leaping over, under or through walls, rules & regulations. They are considered disrespectful, or at the very least impolite, but are often used in comedy routines (“Why is the Emperor not wearing any clothes?”)

NEXT: Types of Qs – Part 3

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