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Comparison Question Technique (CQT): Ultimate Guide

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CQT, which means Comparison or Control Question Technique, is the process of questioning individuals in a way that can detect psychological deception. By this question method, we can have deeper conversations with anyone about any topic and see what’s really beneath their iceberg of choices and opinions.

Although this technique helps us to understand what others are thinking or why they are thinking in a particular way, we’re not very familiar with the CQT. That’s why, in this article, we will break down what this technique is, why it’s valuable and how you can use it efficiently all the time. Let’s get started!

What is CQT?

As the name suggests, the Comparison Question Technique or CQT is like a questionnaire method with some relevant and comparatively similar questions to evaluate someone’s opinion on all those questions to find out their deeper thoughts. 

This question method lets the suspects have different types of opinion on the same topic, instead of one. People don’t usually answer these questions with simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but with some explanation with their answer. Also, the way they react upon hearing those questions reveals more of their inner thoughts.

Let’s see an example for understanding CQT in a more clear manner. Suppose your unique prizes were stolen from your house and your possible suspects are some of your neighbors. But how do you find out who’s the real culprit without being disrespectful? You can try some comparison questions to evaluate their responses.

Ask similar type questions in a row, in both relevant and comparison type. Such as, “Hey, did you ever see my prizes?”, “Did you know how rare my prizes were?”, “Were you in your house yesterday evening?” are some relevant questions. And some comparison questions like, “Did you come to my house yesterday evening?”, “Were you staying at your house yesterday evening?”, “What were you doing yesterday evening”. 

Usually, the innocent people react strongly to comparison questions and the guilty people react more to relevant questions. A professional will understand those subtle differences easily.

Since this CQT method can uncover more detailed information, like personal values or experiences and shows deeper insights of peoples mentality, it’s  used in many areas like business, education, and psychology.

Importance of CQT in Decision-making and Research

Some key factors that makes CQT important in decision making and research are:

Finds Out What People Really Think

When using CQT technique, we can see beyond what’s just on the surface that people don’t usually say out loud. Understanding those deeper thoughts and feelings is greatly important to fathom the real reasons behind one’s actions or choices.

Makes Decisions Better

Although it’s hard to get a clear picture or make decisions easily with traditional question-answer methods, CQT makes it easier. No matter what the areas of your work, with CQT, you can make smarter choices by understanding what people actually want or need.

Gives Richer Information for Research

As CQT asks more questions that need to be answered with some explanation, we can achieve more detailed and complex data after the session ends. This detailed and rich information makes it easier to do thorough research and get more reliable findings.

Helps Understand Why People Do What They Do

The traditional question-and-answer methods leave us wondering in many aspects, but CQT helps to unravel many hidden factors of people’s complicated psychology. It helps to understand what influences them to do something in certain ways.

Improves Products and Services

Knowing about what customers prefer and what they avoid can guide any business  to create products and services that hit the mark right after launching. That’s why CQT can help you in improving your business.

Better Learning in Schools

When applying CQT on students and teachers, we can determine what learning methods are working better and what methods are holding back the students, what kind of teaching suits the teacher best, etc. This makes the learning in schools more effective.

Leads to Better Healthcare

Most often patients don’t share their true experiences and opinions for fear of many circumstances. This leads to more complications or even deaths. So, when you apply CQM in the healthcare industry, the necessity and needs are properly evaluated, and makes the related people satisfied with the outcomes.

Sparks New Ideas

Since CQT deals with the deeper insights of human psychology, it can often challenge old ways of thinking and inspire new ideas. Eventually, those new solutions can drive groundbreaking innovations.

Increases Empathy and Understanding

We usually dislike or fight with people because of misunderstandings. But using CQT, we can analyze their thoughts and behaviors and eventually understand them at a root level. This will increase empathy among the examinee and researchers or decision-makers.

How CQT Differs from Other Questioning Techniques

Let’s explore why and how the CQT technique is different than other questioning techniques:

Focuses on comparisons: Since CQT doesn’t ask direct feedback or a single topic/item, rather let people compare among two or more things, it helps in understanding people’s priorities and preferences more clearly.

Reveals deeper insights: For direct questions, people usually don’t think much and blurt out any answer. But when they’re asked to compare between things, they think more deeply. This uncovers deeper insights of every topic.

Encourages thoughtful responses:   As respondents need to think carefully and compare between the questions and answer accordingly, they become more thoughtful, and answer in detail.

Minimizes straightforward yes/no answers: You’ll usually not get simple yes/no answers with CQT, that’s why this method won’t leave you wondering about the deeper meaning of peoples’ answers or actions.

Reduces the risk of socially desirable responses: Many people simply give typical answers copying others that they think the researchers prefer or are socially desirable. But when the CQT is applied, examinees will rethink their answers and are more likely to share what they really think instead of pleasing people.

Can be more engaging for respondentsUsually, the normal question-and-answer methods are kind of boring, and that’s why people will tell whatever comes to mind to pass the time. However, with comparison questions, the test will become more engaging and interesting, so people will be eager to express their opinions in a clear manner.

Provides a framework for nuanced understandingFor many cases, even a subtle difference of data can change the whole outcome. That’s why it’s crucial to understand people clearly and on a deeper level to solve any complex issues. With CQT, you can get a more nuanced understanding of people’s thoughts and decisions.

Offers flexibility in applicationOther methods of questionnaire aren’t suited for every topic or setting, which can make the process harder. But CQT is versatile and ready to apply across different research fields and industries.

Step-by-Step Guide to Implementing CQT

Let’s learn about the usual step-by-step guide to implement the Comparison Question Technique (CQT):

Define Your Objectives

Set your goals and objectives at the beginning understanding what you really seek from the CQT will help you to design the comparison questions more effectively.

Choose Your Topics or Items for Comparison

Before you start designing the questions, choose some items, concepts, or topics relevant to your research objectives. Those specific topics will be the base to design comparison questions.

Design Comparison Questions

With your chosen concepts, craft some meaningful questions that will encourage participants as well as bring out high-quality data from them. You need to ensure the comparison questions are clear and direct enough to avoid any confusion.

Test Your Questions

Before you directly hit your examinee with the questions, do sample tests with a small group or individuals. The audience will give you feedback on the questions, and you can reshape the questions again to make them suitable before rolling out to question the actual participants.

Select Your Participants

If you already have some participants or suspects on your mind, then it’s okay. But in case you’re doing research and don’t have anyone as a participant, you need to identify and select a group of people who are relevant to your objectives.  Consider factors like interests, demographics, or experiences of individuals that are pertinent to the study.

Conduct Your CQT Session

Now it’s time to finally go through surveys, interviews, quizzes, or any other type of CQT session depending on what’s most appropriate for your study and suited for the participants. But before you start the session, clearly explain the process to participants, making sure they understand how to make the comparisons and answer accordingly.

Analyze the Responses

Once every participant is questioned, it’s time to analyze their responses. Look for patterns, preferences, and insights in their answers to determine why the participants prefer one option over another. Also, analyze how they articulate their comparisons, how they reacted, etc.

Draw Conclusions

Based on your findings of the analysis, draw conclusions that align with your research objectives and also mark them down for future references or new ideas. Also, you can consider how the insights gained from the CQT add depth to your current and future research.

Report Your Findings

Now it’s time for the finishing touch of your CQT research. Prepare reports, presentations, or data sheets to summarize the process, findings, and conclusions. Then you should submit those reports to decision-makers to deal with the actual objective of the CQT process. You can also highlight  how CQT provided unique insights compared to other methods for other researchers.

Conclusion

CQT offers an uncommon way to look at the world and the human beings, giving us deeper insights into what, how, and why people think and make decisions in their particular ways. 

Since this method isn’t a popular one, we can familiarize it with others to  make better-informed decisions, create more appealing products, and conduct more thorough research. And as CQT is suited for both personal and commercial purposes, we can get the best out of it by practicing it efficiently.

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