Classifying or ranking

‘Ranking’ is a special question type that allows respondents to classify categories of answers in the order according to the importance of the item.

Ranking is cognitively demanding survey question. Respondents usually can't classify more than 5 or 10 categories. When compared with alternative assessing in the table (rating scale) it also doesn't have distinctive advantages. On the contrary, it has a lot of disadvantages (mean and variance can't be calculated, multivariate analyses can't be conducted, comparisons can't be made). Ranking is mainly used in situations that require exact order (in tables where many categories can have the same score). We find such cases when making shopping decisions or other decisions based problems.

Author of the survey can choose three different types of ranking when using ‘Ranking question’:

  • Relocation where respondents move a certain number of options from left to the right.
  • Numbering where respondents write numbers next to each option
  • Moving where respondents move options vertically

A number of options that can be ranked by respondents must also be set.