TYPES of Questions (Part 1b)

all I can about myself!!

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

TYPES of Questions (Part 1a)

Types of Qs



there were of asking questions

PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Questions (Part 3)

CHART ⬆️  based on material from http://www.edutopia.org

QUOTES: 36 Quotes from Successful People re. the Wisdom of Asking

TYPES of Questions
(Qs) – mainly from the Q Tool Kit
Each category gives us a wider framework & clarity for the process of finding out things.
Asking is essentially about being curious. It’s the only way of accessing knowledge from other people, so asking the right ones, in the right way, is crucial. When approached correctly, Qs can motivate & inspire people, generate new ideas & change the perception of a problem or situation.

ACoAs rightly say we don’t know what to ask, what word to us….. No matter what the circumstance – where it’s trying to find out something from a loved one, dealing with a work issue, questions a religious doctrine or trying to unravel what our politicians are saying – it’s helpful to know what we are trying to accomplish when asking a Q. It’s also important to know which kinds of Q may potentially get us the answers we’re looking for – and which kinds won’t!

While the following list is primarily focused on research in academic settings, it offers a variety of approaches when we’re trying to find answers or solve a dilemma in our daily lives. Many of these Q types are included in the skill of a good psychotherapist.

ESSENTIALpersonal needs
Qs that are at the center of info gathering. They’re at the heart of the search for truth, probing the deepest issues confronting us, those complex & baffling matters which elude simple answers (the meaning of Birth, Death, Love, Relationships…..). All other Qs, when used appropriately, enhance & illuminate the learning process. (EXP: “What does it mean to be a good friend? // MORE….)

Qs which combine to help build answers to the Essential Qs – which naturally spawn families of smaller ones – leading to insight. The more skillful we are at formulating & then categorizing these Qs, the more success we’ll be at constructing new knowledge.

All of the following categories are Subsidiary types

Qs that only require YES or NO answers, which can be a conversation stopper – but not necessarily. (“Are you cold?”). They can be having to choose from a list of possible options, to identify a piece of info, to help with a new dialogue, to encourage participation, or when fact-finding.
Since answers can be True or False, context is important. “Why” Qs are good for soliciting info, but can make people defensive, so they have to be worded carefully (“Do you want to eat right now?”, as opposed to “Why are you always hungry?”)

Qs ask for standard information, such as on multiple-choice tests for intelligence. They usually start with ‘what, where and when’ & lead to expected results. Answers looked for don’t require a great deal of creativity, but they emphasizing speed, accuracy & logic, focusing on recognizing the familiar, reapplying techniques & accumulating stored information (“What is the second largest country in the world: A– / B–/ C– or D–? diverge vs converge// What’s in that container?”)

Also called ‘lateral thinking’ are Qs that are used in the process of creating multiple, unique ideas or solutions related to a problem one is are trying to solve. They use existing knowledge as a base from which to explore territory ‘next to’ to something already known or understood, & perhaps help to avoid other people’s mistakes (“What other options do we have for saving money this month?” // How might life in the year 2100 differ from today?”)

NEXT: Types of Qs – Part 2