Carrying Forward Responses

While creating a survey you would often come across a situation where you have a series of multiple-choice (nominal) questions, the choices for which would depend on the response to a previous question.

Consider this- you are doing the following series of brand awareness and usage questions:

  1. Which of the brands are you aware of? [multiple responses allowed]
  2. Which brand have you ever used? [multiple responses allowed]
  3. Which brand have you used at least once in the last 3 months? [multiple responses allowed]
  4. Which is your most often used brand?  [single response allowed]

In the first question, the respondent is expected to respond to brands that they have ever heard of. It stands to reason that if someone has never heard of a brand, they would not have ever used it. Hence, the options for the second question have to be populated based on the choices made in the first question. Similarly, if someone has never used a brand, they have obviously not used it in the last 3 months. So the options for the third question have to be populated based on the choices made in the second question. Similarly, the options for the fourth question would also be dependent on the choices made in the third question.

Using the choice made in an earlier question to populate the choices for a subsequent question is called carrying forward. Carrying forward is critical for the quality of data. Imagine looking at data where the respondent has never heard of a brand but apparently is the most often used brand simply because a respondent accidentally chose an incorrect choice.

How to carry forward in Merren?

Let’s create the first two questions of the above series, i.e

  1. Which of the brands are you aware of? [multiple responses allowed]
  2. Which brand have you ever used? [multiple responses allowed]

To set up the first question add a new question and choose the “Nominal” question type. Add the question and the options. Now check the “Allow Multiple Choices” box (1) so that the respondent can choose more than more options if they so desire

We now want to use the options chosen for this question to populate the options that they see for the next question. Add a new nominal question and add the question to the text box. Check the “Use answers from Previous Question” (2). Now choose the questions that you want to use to populate the options (3). Please note that this drop-down list will have only nominal questions that come prior to this question.

You have a choice to pick from options that were chosen or that were not chosen. In our case, we want the names of the brands that were chosen in the first question so we would choose “All Selected answers” (4). In our first question, our last option was “Other” (or could have been “None of these”). If we want to continue using “Other” even if it was not selected earlier, you can force add that option in this question by checking the “Forcefully Carry Forward Last Option” (5).

That should do it. When you deploy your survey, the options for the second question would now be populated based on choices made in the first question