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Binomial Question Type

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This tutorial will explain binomial questions by focusing on:

- Binomial Questions

In order to understand what a binomial question is, it helps to break down the word itself. Bi means “two”, nomial means “names”. So it's a question with two names.

There are two types of data:

Qualitative data, which is sorted into categories and is also called categorical data.

Quantitative data are numbers and you can do arithmetic with them. They're also called numerical.

Go back to the name “binomial”. Do you think that this is a qualitative type of question or a quantitative type of question?

A binomial question is qualitative, because there are two possible responses. It's a question with two categories.

- Binomial Question
- A question with only two answer choices.

The simplest version of a binomial question is yes or no. You might remember this type of question from elementary or middle school:

You’ve probably filled that out a form at some point, maybe at the doctor's office, and you need to check male or female. That’s a binomial question.

What about a question that asks if you’re a smoker or non-smoker?

Be aware. Some people feel like they fall somewhere in between the two options. They may currently be a smoker, but they are trying to quit. Sometimes questions have some shades of gray.

What about this one?

What about people who don't currently smoke but used to?

What about this question? It has two options. Is it considered binomial?

Maybe you don't really agree with the law, but you don't think it should be repealed either. That's not an answer choice.

Sometimes things don't neatly fit into two boxes. Nor do they work when the questions have more than two answers or are open-ended questions such as, “How do you feel about the construction of the new baseball diamond located on the north end of town? It doesn't really work to place something like that into categories.

**Binomial questions** produce categorical data. And there are only two categories. And it's important to consider whether or not there really are just two categories before you ask something as a binomial question.

Good luck!

Source: This work is adapted from Sophia author jonathan Osters.