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A close examination of the literature on including positively and negatively worded items in structured survey questionnaires revealed that contrary to the traditional wisdom, it is better not to use a mix of positively and negatively worded items as doing so can create threats to validity and reliability of the survey instrument. If mixing, it is recommended to use strategies derived from research to improve the quality of data and the instrument validity and reliability.

Copyright Statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:

Chyung, S.Y., Barkin J.R., & Shamsy, J.A. (2018). Evidence‐Based Survey Design: The Use of Negatively Worded Items in Surveys. Performance Improvement, 57(3), 16-25.

which has been published in final form at doi: 10.1002/pfi.21749 by Wiley on behalf of the International Society for Performance Improvement. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.