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Special responses
The interview scripting language provides special keywords for the responses No Answer, Don't Know, and Refused to Answer, which you will often want to allow as valid responses for respondents who are unable or unwilling to answer questions in the normal way. The advantages of using these keywords are as follows:
In categorical questions, they offer a simple and consistent alternative to defining your own texts for these responses.
These responses are valid in specifications for text, numeric, and date questions where categorical response texts are not allowed.
Responses defined using these keywords are saved to the case data in a standard way. If you export the case data in a coded format such as Quantum format, these responses are assigned the same codes regardless of which question they belong to or how many responses there are in the list.
The Interview Scripting Language also provides a special keyword for an Other Specify response. This response often appears in categorical response lists when you want to provide a response that can be used when none of the predefined responses is suitable. The response is always presented with a box in which respondents can enter their own response to the question.
The keywords associated with these facilities are:
Introduces na, dk, and ref in numeric and text response lists.
Don't Know
No Answer
Other Specify
Refuse to Answer
You can use any combination of these responses in a response list, and you can put them in any order and in any position in the list. The usual method is to put them at the end of the list in the order other, na, dk, ref.
When used with numeric, text, and date questions, all special responses are treated as exclusive responses, so any responses that contain a number, text, or date and have a special response checkbox selected are rejected. With categorical responses, only No Answer, Don't Know, and Refuse to Answer are treated as exclusive, and they have an implicit fix applied to them so that they retain their original positions in the list if the list is sorted.
See also
No Answer
Don't know
Refuse to Answer
Other Specify
Questions with categorical responses