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During an effort to and promising lines of development for new products, it became necessary to find out from experienced production engineers what the greatest needs are in today's factories. As we worked cut a questionnaire to get ratings of items in an abstract description from respondent production engineers, we encountered considerable lack of cooperation, even though the respondents were in our own company. We found that the questionnaire had features that the respondent production engineers found irritating, and that many points explained in the text were completely missed by our respondents. As we incorporated the feedback, our questionnaire evolved from an abstract diagram accompanied by text to something resembling a programmed textbook in tabular and graphic form. The history seems to confirm the sterotypes about engineers: most of our respondents seemed impatient with abstractions and strongly disinclined to read text.