Independent Reading Task

The main aim of the chapter is to highlight the importance of questioning.  There were many different themes mentioned within the chapter. Some of them were the purpose of questions, types of questions and where questions are used.

One theory presented in the chapter was the “Funnel Sequence”. This theory starts with the questioner asking many open questions but gradually these questions are substituted for closed questions. This theory is effective because the structure gradually narrows on the vital information needed.

Open questions give the respondent choice in how they want to respond and they encourage the respondent to speak. These types of questions usually require the responses to have a lot of detail. This can cause problems because respondent’s responses can become time consuming and the responses may include irrelevant information. However, closed questions usually have one right answer. There are three types of closed questions: selection question, yes-no question and identification question. Closed questions are easy to answer and allows the questioner to have control. Usually doctors, interviewers and teachers use these types of questions. Although, closed questions can limit the respondent’s answer and this can lead to a short response.

I agree with the idea that children feel scared to answer questions wrong. The chapter states that “children assume that adults will ask reasonable questions, and so they feel under pressure to respond to the expectations inherent in these questions”.  Children do not want to be wrong or show that they do not know the answer.


‘Finding out about others: the skill of questioning’, in Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice. 5th ed. London: Routledge.