Handbook

Technique - Questions and Categories

An exercise that reveals the categories of thinking behind our opinions on specific issues.

Question Yourself
Distribute your questionnaire and allow 10 minutes for students to respond according to the instructions (answering yes or no for each item, with a confidence scale of 1-4).

Make Categories
Have students work alone to develop several categories (at least four, no more than six or seven) among which the questions could be sorted. Then have them place each of the questions in one category (one only).

Notice Disagreements
Have students compare their answers with a partner. Note every question with different answers and notice the intensity of the disagreement. On which question did they have the strongest disagreement?

Start Talking
Have students discuss the questions where they had the most disagreement.  What categories did each create for this question?  Why did they argue the way they did?

Change your Mind
Allow students to change their answers and then ask them to explain why. How did their partner’s answers or categories influence them?

This exercise was developed by Professor Kerri Morris and her associates in graduate school at Texas Christian University.