In a questionnaire for a housing survey, it starts with the following question:

Do you rent the house you are living in?

If the respondent answers "No", move on to the next question.

If the answer is "Yes", say "Thank you" and leave.

This question is like a probing question to know if the tenant is a real owner or a renter. So, what do you call this kind of question? Something like a "test question"?

  • Potentially, you could refer to it as a "filter question" or "filtering question", but there may be a better answer. – Tim Foster Mar 19 at 14:35
  • Possibly an "elimination question" (because it eliminates some respondents). – user323578 Mar 19 at 15:37
  • I'd call it "the first question". – Hot Licks Mar 19 at 17:05
  • Very useful hints! gave me names for other questions appearing on questionnaire. tnx a lot! – khongor Mar 20 at 1:11

Screening questions

According to popular DIY survey sites (here is just one example): Survey Monkey

Screening questions (also known as "screeners") either qualify or disqualify respondents from taking your survey—depending on how they answer. They let you decide who takes your survey based on the target audience you want to hear from.

And according to professional research companies:

In short, screening questions are placed at the beginning of a survey to determine who is – and isn’t – the right fit for a particular study. Those who “pass” the screener take the actual survey. Those who don’t, well, they are thanked and go on to help us out another time.

Note that a conditional question and filter questions, mentioned in other answers, are more general cases. A conditional or filter question can be used anywhere in the survey to determine what other questions will be asked or skipped. For example in a household composition survey asks "Are there any children under age 18 in the household?" A "yes" gets the next question "What age is the child?" and a "no" jumps to the next section.

  • That was vert useful! thank you. – khongor Mar 20 at 1:09

Those type of questions are usually called Conditional Questions. If you answer it a certain way, then you can move onto the next part.

I don't have a specific reference for this, I'm just going based on how we use conditional statements in the coding field.

For example, when making forms for wordpress websites, I use a plugin called formidable. For each question field I make, I can choose whether to hide or show the question based on the answers to the questions above it.

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The term for this we use in our office is Conditional Question. A questions where, if the conditions are met, you continue on to the next one.

  • But conditional question can be used to refer to the question that you will be asked depending on your previous answer. See here: support.ecovadis.com/hc/en-us/articles/… – Tim Foster Mar 19 at 14:34
  • @TimFoster they could be used to refer to that too. Do you have a better idea? – Sensoray Mar 19 at 19:26

Social research methods https://socialresearchmethods.net/kb/questype.php. Offers the following on ‘Filter question’:-

Filter or Contingency Questions. Sometimes you have to ask the respondent one question in order to determine if they are qualified or experienced enough to answer a subsequent one.

This explanation is not precisely matched to your question, perhaps. But it surely the general idea is right: the question is designed to eliminate those who by some characteristic (identified in the question) is not relevant to the purpose of the questionnaire.

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