I am working on a design for a formal registration service that demands users categorise themselves according to a closed list of options. The list is not exhaustive, so some users don't see an option that works for them. However, user testing shows some reluctance to hit the 'none of the above' option. I'm wondering if the negative precept in the 'none of the above' wording has been explored anywhere? Is there any literature that explores the distinction between a negative 'None of the Above' and a more affirmative "A different option" (or equivalent). Can anyone point me in a useful direction? Thanks!

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    Only a personal POV, but as I commented on this question, I'm more hesitant to proceed if there isn't a "none of the above". Perhaps the "time spent hesitating" is just in evaluating whether any of the canned options are "close enough" or whether the need to use the NOTA option. – TripeHound Nov 29 '19 at 14:12
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    Of possible related interest: This is the optimum way to compile a multiple-choice test reports research that does advocate against including "none of the above", but that is in the context of "multiple-choice tests for learning and assessment"... while their reasons for not including it seem reasonable for a test, I don't think they carry over user registration/categorisation. – TripeHound Nov 29 '19 at 14:23
  • Thanks for your help @TripeHound. With hindsight I should've been more explicit about what we're doing. Without boring you with the detail, my question should've been more explicit that it's the wording that is my real point of interest. I'm wondering if a more affirmative "I specialise in a different area" or some equivalent would help to take some of the stress out of this step. I'll edit the question - thanks again. – Will TURNER Nov 29 '19 at 18:27

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