At the start of psychological studies, you typically ask some demographic questions.

Definitions of "demographics"

Oxford dictionary: Statistical data relating to the population and particular groups within it.

Wikipedia: Demographics are quantifiable characteristics of a given population.


  • How old are you?

  • Which ethnic/racial group do you most identify with?

  • What is your gender?

For many of these questions, you might want to add a line "Prefer not to answer".
The wording of these questions should be chosen sensitively. You want to make sure you do not exclude or offend anyone. Remember that you want to make your participates feel comfortable with the questions. For example, while most people classify themselves as male or female, this is not always the case. So make sure you give all people an option to choose from. An excellent way to do this is Prefer to self-describe (please specify). Alternatively, you can simply have "other" or "prefer not to say". Also, the choice of words and the order of, say religions, in non-alphabetical order can be viewed as a researcher bias.
Ethnicity classifications can be difficult to decide on, and they seem to vary from survey to survey. They can be different even within parts of a country (e.g., England vs Scotland). You can find lists of classifications used by governmental organisations on the web (for USA, for for UK).
The example below is simply a suggestion. It is best to carefully think about whether you need each question and if the proposed text and choices match your participants.

Run the demo


One of the special features of PsyToolkit is that you can enter numbers in a textline, and that the website will only allow numbers in a certain range if you wish so. Alternatively, you can use the range item (for a good example of this, see this scale).

Also, note the option to enter "other" in some of the radio questions.

In the employment question, you can create subdivisions (see example code to do it yourselve).

In element lines (the ones starting with a minus sign), options are always in curly brackets.

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
l: age
t: textline
q: How old are you?
- {min=18,max=100}

l: gender
t: radio
q: What is your gender?
- Male
- Female
- {other,size=50} Prefer to self-describe (please specify)

l: education
t: radio
q: What is the highest level of education you have completed?
- Primary school
- GCSEs or equivalent
- A-Levels or equivalent
- University undergraduate programme
- University post-graduate programme
- Doctoral degree

l: religion
t: radio
q: Do you practise a religion, and if so, which one?
- None (atheism)
- Buddhism
- Christianity
- Hinduism
- Islam
- Judaism
- Paganism
- Sikhism
- {other} Other

l: ethnicity
q: How would you best describe your ethnic origin?
t: radio
- Asian or Asian British
- Black or Black British
- Chinese
- Mixed
- White
- {other,size=80} Other or detailed specific ethnic group name

l: employment
t: radio
q: What best describes your employment status?
- Unemployed<br><br><hr>
- Full time student with further employment
- Full time student without further employment
- Part time student with additional employment
- Part time student without additional employment<br><br><hr>
- Self-employed part-time
- Self-employed full-time
- Part-time employment within organisation/company
- Full-time employment within organisation/company

l: income
t: radio
q: How would you describe your income level?
- For my age group, below average UK income
- For my age group, average UK income
- For my age group, above average UK income

l: region
t: radio
q: What type of area do you live in?
- City
- Sub-urban
- Rural