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IDProjectCategoryView StatusLast Update
08310Feature requestsSurvey editingpublic2016-11-15 07:43
Reporterjonsen Assigned To 
Status newResolutionopen 
Summary08310: Reset answer in voluntary questions
DescriptionI would like to have "Show 'No answer'" set to FALSE. Most people scientifically designing a survey do not want it. But if I turn it off, there is no way to reset the value of a voluntary question. Once the participant has clicked an answer, (s)he can not take it back (aka. NULL the answer). (S)he can only select another answer option.

Therefore, the participant's answer might actually have been "No answer", but shows up as a valid answer...
Additional InformationI know this might not seem to be a big deal. But scientifically, you do want to avoid having a pre-selected "No answer"...

The buttons for this could be the same as used to reset the sliders!
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2013-10-23 03:39

reporter   ~26941

Related forum topic:,-using-a-button-and-javascript


2014-01-14 19:35

reporter   ~27865

Can people look at this and give some feedback if you want this or not?


2016-05-11 09:42

reporter   ~38296

Have the ability to insert reset button for question without code everytime with java it's a really nice feature!


2016-11-14 13:16

developer   ~41876

For single choice : add 'No answer' item and your go.


2016-11-14 15:10

developer   ~41883

Last edited: 2016-11-14 15:46

View 3 revisions

this difference between NULL and no answer: it made so many problems with sliders...

I know sociologist consider it as a scientific point, but I'm pretty sure that epistemologist would just find here another point to question the scientificity of sociology :-p (Would Karl Popper have supported a reset button? ^^ )

I mean: I can understand that in a cognitive point of view, not clicking on any answer is not the same than clicking on "no answer". But, clicking on an answer and then clicking on reset, IMHO, it's just not the same at all than not clicking: NULL means that participant clicked on nothing, not that he clicked on reset. So in a scientific point of view, filling the field with "NULL" when people click on "reset" is wrong. Indeed, in a scientific point of view, it would be needed to have 3 values: NULL, No Answer, Reset. Then, it would be pretty easy to prove that "Reset" is logically equivalent to "No Answer".

Whatever, debugging sociology empirical paradigm is not my job. We already did such a reset button for sliders. We can do something similar for other questions. Indeed, it can be done in JavaScript with a workaround.



2016-11-14 21:12

developer   ~41945

Last edited: 2016-11-14 21:13

View 2 revisions

Thinking about it again, to repeat myself but using the "LimeSurvey language": I'd say that (a) a non-mandatory question with a "NA" button is scientifically better than (b) a non-mandatory question with no "NA" answer but with a reset button.

In case (a), if a participant doesn't touch anything, null is recorded. If the participant wants to cancel his choice "NA" is recorded, else, the selected value is recorded.

In case (b), if a participant doesn't touch anything, null is recorded. If he resets his choice, null is recorded, else, the selected value is recorded.

So, in (b), less information are recorded, and two actions are fused. This fusion between those two cases "probably" has a huge impact on the anchoring of participants ( I bet my two cents that when a reset button is available rather than a "No Answer" item, people are more likely to choose an answer, even when it's not really relevant to them. So the final set of data will be less relevant in general: like counting the vote intention of people who indeed will just not vote at all the day of the election. Maybe if more "No Answer" option would have been used in the American Election surveys, the polls would have been more relevant.

Anchoring is a cognitive bias, putting a cognitive bias in the middle of an experiment is creating an experimental bias. The "RESET" button create a dependent variable that is not controlled.

Just the epistemological point of view of PHP coder on the scientificity of a reset button.



2016-11-15 07:43

developer   ~41949

@LouisGac : for (a) : you mean : non-mandatory + hide no-answer ? Right ?

If yes :
case (a) : null is recorded => '' is recorded. Null is reserved for 'not seen'/'hidden by condition' (if able in the DB).

Else : i'm totally OK.

Issue History

Date Modified Username Field Change
2013-10-23 01:56 jonsen New Issue
2013-10-23 01:57 jonsen Issue Monitored: jonsen
2013-10-23 01:57 jonsen Issue End Monitor: jonsen
2013-10-23 03:39 jonsen Note Added: 26941
2014-01-14 19:35 jonsen Note Added: 27865
2016-05-11 09:42 Maverick87Shaka Note Added: 38296
2016-11-14 13:16 DenisChenu Note Added: 41876
2016-11-14 15:10 LouisGac Note Added: 41883
2016-11-14 15:43 LouisGac Note Edited: 41883 View Revisions
2016-11-14 15:46 LouisGac Note Edited: 41883 View Revisions
2016-11-14 21:12 LouisGac Note Added: 41945
2016-11-14 21:13 LouisGac Note Edited: 41945 View Revisions
2016-11-15 07:43 DenisChenu Note Added: 41949
2019-11-01 17:25 c_schmitz Category Survey design => Survey editing