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Survey Features

Looping Logic In Survey Design

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When it comes to designing surveys, looping logic is a powerful feature. As a researcher, you can’t afford to exhaust respondents by asking irrelevant questions. Looping logic is a survey design technique that allows you to tailor the questions a respondent sees based on their previous answers. 

The feature not only makes your survey more engaging but also more efficient and accurate. With looping logic, you can streamline the survey-taking process and reduce dropout rates. 

In this article, we’ll explore its benefits and discuss some common challenges to understand how it saves time for the respondents taking the survey and also enhances the quality of data

What is looping logic in surveys?

Surveys sometimes need you to repeat certain questions for the answer option provided in the previous question. For such a requirement, we have looping logic. With looping logic, you can iterate through the answer options for the same question. Meaning you can ask the same question or questions multiple times depending on the answer options. 

This survey feature is helpful when you have one or even more follow-up questions for one multiple-choice question. When you set a looping logic for a particular question, a page break is inserted automatically which is necessary for branching so that it is understood that the loop is ended. In case of multiple follow-up questions, you can set looping logic at the last question to identify the end of the loop. 

To ensure logic flow, you should make sure that all the follow-up questions point towards that one multiple-choice question based on the options from which the other questions are derived. This is called branching logic, and the default branching of a question can be any other question, page, or termination of the survey.

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Looping logic and data analysis

When we think about the data we get from looping logic surveys, we will have multiple rows for a single response of a single respondent. This is due to branching. It is saved in the system as one row for one, while exporting the survey data to any other statistical packages, ensure the format at both ends is one and compatible. 

If you face any trouble with multiple rows for one response, you can also set a different question for selected answer options.

Where to use looping logic in a survey?

1. Course evaluation surveys – 

These are the surveys conducted in universities and academic institutes asking students to rate their courses and share feedback. They can have one question asking for them to select all the courses they applied for and then have follow-up questions for the same selected options. 

2. Customer feedback surveys – 

Let’s say you are designing a customer feedback survey for a product evaluation. In the survey, looping logic will allow you to tailor questions based on the specific products the respondent has used. 

For example, if someone has not tried Product M, the respondents will not be asked about their experience with that product. 

3. Customer satisfaction surveys – 

Imagine you are running a customer satisfaction survey for your online e-commerce store. With looping logic, you can make sure that a first-time customer won’t be asked any questions related to previous purchases. 

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Benefits of looping logic in survey

Now that we have determined some scenarios where you can use looping logic let’s look into its benefits. 

1. Improved survey efficiency

You can eliminate unnecessary and irrelevant questions for respondents. This will demonstrate that you respect their time and effort and increase the response rate. 

2. Enhanced data quality

It ensures that respondents only answer questions relevant to them. This results in accurate, reliable, and high-quality data. 

3. Enhanced respondent experience

When respondents feel that you value their time and that the questions are relevant to their experience, they are more likely to complete the survey. 

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Pitfalls of looping logic

Here, we discuss two challenges of applying looping logic in your survey. 

1. Overcomplicated logic

While looping logic can make the flow of your survey seamless, it can also lead to confusion for both the survey designers and the respondents. 

2. Data analysis 

After collecting data using this logic, you may face challenges in analyzing it due to the varying paths respondents take. 


This logic functionality improves efficiency, data quality, and respondent experience. By tailoring your survey questions to individual respondents, you ensure that your surveys gather valuable insights. 

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