Desktop User Guides > Author > Creating questions and responses > Question type overview
 
Question type overview
When you create a new question, the type of information that the question is designed to capture, and the format in which the question is displayed to the respondent, determine the question type to use.
The Routings section of the Properties pane enables you to select an interviewing mode for the questionnaire. This controls the supported question types. Paper - Scanning mode does not support True or False, Date/Time, Loop, or Block question types. So if you select Paper - Scanning for the interviewing mode, you cannot select these question types.
Single response question
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A question that requires the respondent to choose one answer from a predefined list. An example is “Which is your favorite type of coffee?” followed by a list of coffees.
For more information, see Creating single response questions.
Multiple response question
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A question to which the respondent can choose several answers from a predefined set of answers. An example is the question “Which of these types of coffee have you ever purchased?” in response to which the respondent can select any number of brands from a list.
For more information, see Creating multiple response questions.
Single response grid question
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A question that requires respondents to choose one from a predefined set of answers for a number of subjects. A grid question might ask respondents to choose a rating on a predefined scale for a number of products in a list. An example is “For each of these types of coffee, please indicate how likely you are to buy it” with five possible responses from “Never buy” to “Very often”.
For more information, see Creating grid questions.
Multiple response grid question
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A question that allows respondents to choose several answers from a predefined set of answers for a number of subjects. An example question is: “For each of these types of coffee, which of the following reasons persuaded you to buy it?” followed by a list of possible reasons, from which the respondent can choose more than one.
For more information, see Creating grid questions.
Numeric response grid question
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A question that requires a numeric response for a number of subjects. For example, “How many times a week do you buy each of the following types of coffee?”
For more information, see Creating grid questions.
True/False question
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This is a question to which there can be one of two answers, such as yes/no, true/false. An example is: “Would you say that there is any benefit in drinking decaffeinated coffee?” Also known as a boolean question. This question type is disabled for Paper - Scanning interviewing mode.
For more information, see Creating True/False questions.
Numeric question
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A question that requires a numeric response, for example: “How many times a week do you buy a newspaper?”
For more information, see Creating numeric questions.
Text question
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A question that allows the respondent to answer in their own words. Sometimes known as “open-ended” or “verbatim” questions. An example is: “Please say what it is that you don’t like about coffee”.
For more information, see Creating text questions.
Date question
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A question that requires a response in the form of a date or a time, for example: “At what time do you have your first cup of coffee of the day?” This question type is disabled for Paper - Scanning interviewing mode.
For more information, see Creating Date/Time questions.
Display Text
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This is not, strictly speaking, a question, as it does not require a response. Use display text to add introductory text for which you do not want to record a response, such as “I’m conducting an interview on people's coffee-drinking habits; do you have time to answer a few questions?” or other information for interviewers, such as “Questions for respondents who do not drink coffee”.
For more information, see Creating display text.
Grouped questions
Compound
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Compounds are typically used for presentation purposes in paper questionnaires, to present a number of separate questions that use the same response list side-by-side on the page.
For more information, see Creating compound questions.
Loop
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Loops are groups of questions that are asked multiple times with a different subject each time. For example, you could ask the question “How many times today have you bought a cup of coffee?” and ask the following questions once for each time the respondent bought a coffee:
“Where did you buy it?”
“How much did you pay?”
“At what time did you buy it?”
This question type is disabled for the Paper - Scanning interviewing mode.
For more information, see Creating loops to ask the same questions for different subjects.
Block
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Blocks are groups of questions that you want to keep together for presentational or organizational purposes. For example, if you have a group of demographics questions, you might want to group them in a block so that you can easily locate them in the questionnaire file. This question type is disabled for the Paper - Scanning interviewing mode.
For more information, see Creating blocks of questions.
Database questions
Single response database question
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Single response database question. A question that requires the respondent to choose one answer from a predefined list and whose category lists are generated by connecting to an external database. An example is “Which is your favorite type of coffee?” followed by a list of coffees.
For more information, see Creating single response database questions.
Multiple response database question
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A question to which the respondent can choose several answers from a predefined set of answers and whose category lists are generated by connecting to an external database. An example is the question “Which of these types of coffee have you ever purchased?” in response to which the respondent can select any number of brands from a list.
For more information, see Creating multiple response database questions.
Loop database question
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Loops database questions are groups of questions that are asked multiple times with a different subject each time and whose category lists are generated by connecting to an external database. For example, you could ask the question “How many times today have you bought a cup of coffee?” and ask the following questions once for each time the respondent bought a coffee:
“Where did you buy it?”
“How much did you pay?”
“At what time did you buy it?”
This question type is not available for the Paper - Scanning interviewing mode.
For more information, see Creating database question loops.
Routing items and other icons
A number of other icons can appear in the UNICOM Intelligence Author window. Some of these are for routing items such as bookmarks. Others are group types or shared list icons:
Shared List
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A list of responses for use in a number of different questions.
For more information, see Creating shared lists of responses.
Go To
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Use Go To routing items if you want the questionnaire to jump to a question other than the next in the routing.
For more information, see Adding a jump to another question.
If .. Go To
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Use If .. Go To routing items to add a conditional jump to a question other than the next in the routing (for example, based on the response to a previous question).
For more information, see Adding a jump to another question.
Exit
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Use an exit instruction to terminate the interview before the end and record a reason for the termination.
For more information, see Adding an exit instruction to a questionnaire.
Bookmark
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Add a bookmark to use with Go To statements if you want to jump to a specific location in the questionnaire, rather than a specific question.
For more information, see Adding bookmarks.
Script
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Use a script item to insert complex instructions using the Interview Scripting Language.
For more information, see Adding scripts.
Set Response
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Use a set response item to set the response to a specific question using the question's default answers as set in metadata, responses to other questions, or manually entered expressions.
For more information, see Adding a Set Response to a questionnaire.
Note icon
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Use notes if you want to record information about a question in the file for office purposes. Notes do not appear in the finished questionnaire.
For more information, see Adding notes to a questionnaire.
Condition icons
IfBlock icon
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The If item of a Condition block consists of one or more conditions and one or more actions to take if the conditions are met. If the conditions are not met, control passes to the first ElseIf item, if any in the Condition block. If there are no ElseIf items, control passes to the Else item if present; otherwise control passes to the next item following the Condition block in the current routing. Each Condition block has exactly one If item.
For more information, see If item.
ElseIf icon
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An ElseIf item of a Condition block consists of one or more conditions and one or more actions to take if the conditions are met. If the conditions are not met, control passes to the next ElseIf item, if any in the Condition block. If there are no additional ElseIf items, control passes to the Else item if present; otherwise control passes to the next item following the Condition block in the current routing. A Condition block can have one or more ElseIf items. For more information, see ElseIf item.
Else icon
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An Else item of a Condition block consists of one or more actions that are taken when the conditions for the If and ElseIf items (in the block) are not satisfied. A Condition block can only have one Else item and it follows any ElseIf items in the block. For more information, see Else item.
Group icons
Section icon
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Sections are groups of questions that you want to keep together for organizational purposes. For example, if you have a group of demographics questions, you might want to group them in a section so that you can easily locate them in the questionnaire file.
For more information, see Grouping questions in sections.
Page icon
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Pages group questions together for presentational purposes in online questionnaires. Use pages to display a number of questions on the same web page.
For more information, see Grouping questions in pages.
Automatically generated names
When you create a question, it has an automatically generated name. This is not seen by respondents, but it identifies the question in the questionnaire file and it appears as the variable name when the results are analyzed in UNICOM Intelligence Reporter or UNICOM Intelligence Reporter - Survey Tabulation. Optionally, select the default question name in the Design pane and change it to a more meaningful name.
Names must be unique, cannot be empty and can contain only letters, numbers and the characters _ @ $ #
The first character must be a letter or _ (underscore).
Names cannot contain spaces.
See also
Creating single response questions
Creating multiple response questions
Creating grid questions
Creating True/False questions
Creating numeric questions
Creating text questions
Creating Date/Time questions
Creating display text
Creating compound questions
Creating loops to ask the same questions for different subjects
Creating blocks of questions
Creating database questions
Copying question and response text from other applications
Editing responses
Specifying additional response details in the design pane
Creating questions and responses