This is a categorical question type where respondents select 1 possible answer from pre-defined categories.
If we are unlikely to have anticipated all the possible answers from respondents, we can add the category 'Other' (and follow the methodological recommendation Unsuitable use of open-ended questions). This results in a semi-open-ended question type, which allows respondents to enter any answer they wish if they do not identify with any of the predefined categories. In this case, the analysis can be a bit more complex as the descriptive answers have to be recoded (e.g. 'apple', 'apple' and 'apples' recoded to the same value).
Similarly, 'missing values' such as 'Don't know', 'Rejected, 'Not applicable' and 'Other' can be added. Caution is advised when using these responses, as also described in the methodological recommendation Incomplete response options.
Below we describe some additional question functionality and settings:
The 'Categories - Single Answer' question type offers a number of different layouts, such as:
- Vertical (default setting), where categories are listed vertically beneath the question
- Horizontal beside the question
- Horizontal below the question
- Dropdown, which is particularly useful when there is a large number of categories (e.g. more than 10 or even more than 100). When the dropdown is closed, only one category is displayed, but when the respondent clicks to open it, all categories are displayed. A possible limitation of the dropdown is that respondents do not have the possibility to enter their own answer if they do not select any of the predefined answers.
There are several options in the advanced settings, such as:
- Hide the question for respondents;
- Time limit for answering;
- Show results;
- Locked question for editing;
- Hide radio buttons;
- Fast edit in data with dropdown