Select Questions

Select questions have choices and you put these choices into the choices sheet then connect them to the question using a "list_name". More details can be found in Question Types.

Select Types

  • select_one (The user can only select one of the choices)
  • select_multiple (The user can select multiple choices)
  • rank (The user can rank the choices, that is order them)

Select One or Select Multiple

In the paper survey shown below, question 2.7 is clearly a select multiple question. This is confirmed by the hint (select all that apply). It is not so clear that question 2.4 is a Select One question, however presumably because there is no hint telling the enumerator to select all that apply then only one should be selected.


Which select to use?

One of the advantages of using phone based surveys is that the analyst has to explicitely set the type to select_one or select multiple and it will not be left up to the enumerator.




The question is linked to its list of choices through the list name.


The list name is not the same as the question name although often they can be set to the same value which can cause confusion. If a list of choices is only ever used by a single question then you may as well set the list name to the question name. For example if you have a question called q1 and it has a list of choices unique to it then call the list "q1" as well. Its question 1's list of choices!

However if more than one question uses the same list of choices then the list name should probably relate to those choices. A common example is yes or no questions. Question 1 might ask "Are you married?". An appropriate list name for the choices might then be "yes_no".


There is a space between the question type and the list name but there can be no spaces in the list name or the question name.


It is better to not allow choice names to have spaces. If you want spaces in your results then instead you can specify the alternate name / code in the display_name column. However spaces within the choice name will mostly work with select_one questions, although never with select_multiple. If you are using these with select_one then when referring to the question in a relevance you will need to use = instead of the selected function.


A question of type rank is specified just like the other select questions with a list name that links the question to its choices. When the user answers the question they will be asked to drag the choices to re-order them.