Two heads are better than one, but is this the case in survey research? When it comes to questionnaire design the trend has definitely been towards shorter is better. Lean questionnaires are the new chic. This trend certainly argues against the use of multiple measures of a construct which would mean additional questions, longer completion times and ultimately lower completion rates.
But let’s wait a minute here. There are valid reasons for using multiple measures. Obviously, if your survey contains a pre/post experiment then it is reasonable to ask the same question twice. In some cases the question at hand may have behaviors associated with it that lean toward the use of follow up questions. For example, if you recently emailed out a digital catalog and wanted to assess your target audience’s likelihood of going online to retrieve more information after receiving the catalog there are multiple ways to capture this data.
First, would be a direct observation of behavior. Email and web analytics tools can support this effort. Second, you may offer respondents a survey. In this questionnaire you may ask the respondents if they felt the catalog made them more or less likely to go online in search of additional information. This could take the form of an attitudinal question. The attitudinal question can be followed up with a behavioral question regarding frequency or recency of Internet use. Although these two questions are not directly related they are supportive of each other. They can be used as a test as it is reasonable to hypothesize they would be positively related.
If key decisions are to be informed by survey data then having multiple measures of a construct can lead to a more reasoned decision. At the very least it gives the market researcher more ground to stand upon. This approach is germane to both consumer and B2B marketing research.