Along with the different ways to structure questions, there are also different types of questions. The two most basic are good questions and bad questions. While good questions are generally the goal, sometimes bad questions are needed to throw people off guard.
There are six different types of good questions:
- Direct questions contain one interrogative, one noun or pronoun, and one verb. “Who are you?” is a direct question.
- Control questions are questions that interrogators already know the answer to, but that are used to find out if someone is telling the truth.
- Repeat questions allow the interrogator to get the same information in two different ways.
- Persistent questions are similar to repeat questions in that they also check out a person’s story to determine truthfulness with multiple variations of the same questions.
- Summary questions summarize a few things that people say in order to verify that they actually did say them.
- Non-pertinent questions are used to mitigate tension or buy some time to review notes.
Conversely, there are four different types of bad questions:
- Leading questions are questions that supply an answer or point someone toward the answer.
- Negative questions such as “Is that not true?” are complicated and cause a lot of confusion.
- Vague questions are unclear and not concise. These questions are often antagonizing or confusing to the subject.
- Compound questions are typically two or more unrelated questions strung together.