SoSci Survey
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Encoding and output values

The questionees answers are usually stored numerically. This chapter explains the encoding of characteristics attributes. It depends on the question type which values (encoded attributes) a variable (characteristic) may contain.

Tip: A complete overview over your answer codes can be found at the variables listing.

General output values

  • Empty data field The attribute was not prompted and/or the questionee has left the field empty (possible with text entry fields, cloze-texts and additional text entry fields in a selection)
  • -1 through -3 A residual answer (e.g. “not applicable”) was chosen in a scale, selectio,n polarity profile or a text entry field.
  • -9 The attribute was prompted, but the questionnee did not give an answer. This is not possible with multiple selection (where no answer is also an answer) or text entry fields (empty entry fields are saved as empty data – see above).
  • -8 An erroneous value was sent to the server. This may happen with transmission errors or if a questionnee manipulates the data that is sent back to the server (e.g. in a scale with the options 1 through 5 the value 6 is transmitted).


  • 1 through n

The minimum of a n-ary scale will create the value 1, the maximum the value n. Steps in between will correspondingly create the values inbetween.

The output value is independent of the labeled numbering. If the minimum is labeled e.g. with the school grade “6” (the maximum being “1”), the stored value will still be 1 (correspondingly 6 for the maximum).

Sliders will save a value between 1 (minimum) and 100 or 101 (maximum).

Polarity profile

  • 1 trough n

The most negative pole / minimum will create the value 1, the most positive pole / the maximum of a n-ary polarity profile will create the value n. Steps in between will correspondingly create the values inbetween.

The stored value is independent of the labeled numbering (e.g. if the questionnee is shown a scale from “-2” through “+2” – it will be stored as 1 trough 5). The negative pole will always create the value 1.

Selection (visible or dropdown)

  • 1 trough m

The value stored will be the Item ID (visible at Variables listing or as the value in the square brackets at the list of questions). In case the order of the options shown to the questionee should differ from the output values, you may vary the item position in the “edit question”-area or state the item ID order in the contol code, e.g. ​question("​AB01","​3,​2,​1,​4,​5,-1");

Multiple choice

As with a dichotomous scale (“not selected”/“selected”) the values for a multiple choice are saved as 1/2 for each item.

  • 1 Item not chosen (“not selected”)
  • 2 Item chosen (“selected”)

Dichotomous data will be recoded to false/true if using the GNU R import:

  • FALSE Item not chosen (“not selected”)
  • TRUE Item chosen (“selected”)

In case you have given the option to enter an additional option through a free text entry field, this value is saved in an own variable (see your variables listing).

Bear in mind, the value -9 (“no answer”) is not possible with multiple choice questions.

Free text entry

The entered text is saved unaltered, however certain characters may be replaced (e.g. the sign that is used as a delimiter in CSV-files may be replaced with excalamation marks (!) or pseudo-tags (e.g. <comma>).

The text entry field does not support the codes -1, -2 or -9.

Of course you are able to let questionees enter numbers as free text (e.g. age or birthdays).

en/results/values.txt · Last modified: 29.03.2016 15:15 by admin
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