An open question in communications is one that invites a long and thoughtful response. It might ask a person's opinion on a topic or ask them to narrate a story about their life that is meaningful to them. It prompts people to ponder ideas and express complex thoughts. It often includes questions with the words why or how.
One example of an open-ended question might be the following: What political party best represents your interests as an American citizen, and why? This would encourage the respondent to reflect on their own life experience and needs. A second example of an open-ended question could be, "Tell me about an incident in your life and how it altered your perception of the world around you."
This kind of open question offers the respondent the possibility of supplying a detailed, nuanced, and very personal response to a query, one that allows insight that a simple, closed yes-or-no question does not.