Ever wonder where all the unique research terms come from? We still don’t know. But we have compiled a glossary to help you make sense of the research industry.


Account Settings

This option allows users to change their password, set the time zone and language for their account, and upgrade using an upgrade code. A user can also check restrictions on the account, such as a limit to the number of responses that can be gathered.


Surveys listed as “Active” in Qualtrics are currently capable of collecting responses. They can be activated or deactivated from the My Surveys tab.

Advanced Options

Throughout the survey tool, there are several Advanced Options drop-down menus available. For example, there are advanced options available for the whole survey, individual blocks, individual questions, and survey results, to name a few. These drop-down menus generally contain functions that fall outside the realm of normal survey building. For example, a user can edit individual questions using JavaScript, or set up quotas for the entire survey.

Anonymous survey links do not track any personal information about respondents (such as first name, last name, etc.) unless that information is asked for in the survey. Surveys in Qualtrics are anonymous by default if they are distributed using the anonymous link, embedded surveys, or pop-ups.


Analysis of Variance (AN-O-VA) is an inferential test for examining a null hypothesis when comparing more than two means in a single-factor study, or in studies with more than one factor. It is the statistical technique for testing for any differences in the means of several groups.

Application Programming Interface (API)

A tool that can be used to interact with the Qualtrics tool without having to log in to the regular Qualtrics interface. The API is typically used to set up an automated system, such as automatically downloading a survey’s data at midnight each night, or each day automatically scheduling a mailing to a list of respondents from a CRM, etc. API access typically incurs an extra cost. Contact a Qualtrics representative for more information about acquiring API access.


The Survey Authenticator allows users to verify respondents’ information by prompting each one to enter in the appropriate information, like a password or ID number before accessing the survey.

Auto-Number Questions

By default, Question Numbers in Qualtrics are created in the same order that the questions are created, not necessarily in the flow of the questions. To re-number the questions, users have the Auto-Number Questions option.

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A block is a section of questions that are placed together in the survey to better organize the order and presentation of questions. The order and organization of the blocks can be managed in the Survey Flow.


A branch is a divergent flow of the survey that can take respondents to separate sections, blocks, or flows of the survey depending on a specified condition. The Branch function can be accessed through the Survey Flow.

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Carry Forward

Carry Forward is used to carry answer choices, statements, or scale points from a previous question on to a subsequent question in the survey.

Check Survey Accessibility

Web accessibility refers to the practice of making websites usable by people of all abilities and disabilities. Some question types in Qualtrics are accessible while others are not. Users can check to see if a survey is accessible with this feature.

Chi Square

A test statistic used in calculating probability distributions.


The collaborate option allows users to share or co-author a survey with another group or individual within an organization.

Conditional Logic

Programming within certain aspects of the survey creation engine that allow the survey creator to trigger an action conditional upon previous respondent selections or category assignments.

Confidence Interval

Estimated percentage of time that truth will fall within the margin of error of survey results. This is chosen by the researcher before the study is conducted. 95% is standard for most studies.


Conjoint analysis is a statistical technique used in market research to determine how people value different features that make up an individual product or service.

A cookie is a piece of text that a Web server can store on a user’s hard disk. Cookies allow a Website to store information on a user’s machine and later retrieve it. The pieces of information are stored as name-value pairs. A name-value pair is simply a named piece of data. It is not a program, and it cannot “do” anything. A Web site can retrieve only the information that it has placed on a machine. It cannot retrieve information from other cookie files, nor any other information from a machine.

Correlation Coefficient

A mathematical index that describes the relationship direction and magnitude between two dependent variables.

Create a New Report

Clicking “Create a new report” generates a new data report based on all the data collected to that point. It renders a new, non-filtered report that reflects the newest data and the newest configuration of the survey.

Create from Copy

Tool designed to help users create a survey based on an existing survey.

Cross Tabulation

A form of multivariate analysis that describes the relationship between two or more variables presented as a contingency table in a matrix format.


Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a style sheet language used to describe the presentation semantics (that is, the look and formatting) of a document written in a markup language. This is the code our skins are written in. You can use the CSS editor to adjust the look of your skin.

CSV File

Comma Separated Values (CSV). It is used for the digital storage of data structured in a table of lists form, where each associated item (member) in a group is in association with others also separated by the commas of its set. In Qualtrics CSV files are utilized in the transfer of data from our system into external databases and programs (such as Excel).

A link customized in order to cause specific information to be recorded in the Survey Flow. This information can be appended to the end of the survey link.

Custom Validation

An option to customize the validation message that appears and set a specific condition for validation to pass. Custom Validation can be accessed in Advanced Options to set it for the whole survey or on the Question Menu bar to set it for a specific question.

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Degrees of Freedom

The number of values in the final calculation of a statistic that are free to vary.

Discriminant Analysis

A multivariate technique of analysis that examines the ability of predictor variables to discriminate (i.e. separate) between categories of a criterion (dependent) variable or groups.

Display Logic

Display Logic allows users to show a selected question to only those respondents who meet a specified condition. That condition can be based on a question response, an embedded data field, a quota, or some combination of the three.

Download Data

This option allows users to export the raw data from the survey for statistical analysis into Excel, SPSS, XML or HTML.

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Email History

Displays any distributions (past or pending) through the Qualtrics Mailer. Can be downloaded to see more details about distribution.

Email Trigger

A survey tool set to email survey responses to an indicated recipient when certain conditions are met. For instance, an e-mail can be sent to a HR representative whenever a respondent indicates they have witnessed fraud in the company.

Embedded Data

Data included in a panel that is associated with a respondent. Embedded data allows survey creators to add additional information about respondents that can be used for branching, advanced logics, and analysis after a survey is complete.

End of Survey

This element in the Survey Flow ends a survey. Can be customized to redirect respondents or show a unique end of survey message.

Export Results

Qualtrics users can export data to SPSS or Excel for additional analysis. This is done by clicking on “Download Data.”

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Factor Analysis

A statistical method used to describe variability among observed variables in terms of fewer unobserved variables called factors.


Typically a subgroup or similar item used in the reporting area to view a specific group or subset of the data as a whole.


Folder Management allows users to organize and group surveys together by placing them in specified folders.

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Graphics Library

A location where the images uploaded into an account are stored.

Group Types

The overall permissions which have been given a group by a brand administrator.


A body of users who all share access to surveys, messages, media, or other files. Groups may only be created by a Brand Administrator.

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A hyperlink, more commonly called a link, is an electronic connection between one web page and another web page. More specifically, a hyperlink is a connection between one page of a hypertext document to another.


Import Survey

The action of uploading a file type specifically formatted to be used as a survey in Qualtrics. The most common way this is done is to upload a survey that was previously created in Qualtrics and exported as a .qsf file type. Qualtrics does not support the import of Word files as surveys. Txt files can be used for import.

In-Page Pop-up

A window that is designed to appear directly in front of a web page that is being viewed. Qualtrics surveys can be embedded in a web page to appear as a pop-up. For more advanced pop-ups, we offer a Site Intercept tool.

Inactive Survey

Inactive surveys do not gather any responses. This ensures surveys do not gather responses before they are complete or after they have gathered all the necessary data.

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JavaScript is a popular web development language. Much of the Qualtrics tool is developed using JavaScript. JavaScript can be used to create custom edits to the questions and survey overall by inserting JavaScript into the “Add JavaScript” window or by inserting it into the Source view of the Header or Footer (Look and Feel -> Advanced).


Launch Survey

The action of activating a survey to allow for its distribution.


Repository for storing graphics, messages, questions and surveys.

Library – Graphics

Library to store graphics available for use in any survey or message.

Library – Message

Library to store messages available for future use in surveys.

Library – Questions

Library to store questions available for use in creating new surveys.

Library – Survey

The Qualtrics Library contains hundreds of surveys ready to be distributed. The survey library function helps users import and alter surveys that have been created and used by leading researchers.


Allows conditions to determine which questions will be seen by a respondent. Applies to Display Logic and Skip Logic.

Look and Feel

A section in Edit Survey that allows you to change the appearance of your survey. You can also select a skin or template to apply to your survey.

Loop and Merge

Sets a block of questions to loop and display as many times as needed based upon selections from a previous question.

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Manage Folders

Allows for creation/management of folders used to organize surveys within account.

Margin of Error

This is expressed as a +/- percent with survey results and gives a projected range which actual results should fall within.

Market Segmentation

The means of dividing the market into smaller groups with distinct needs, characteristics, or behaviors who might require separate products or services.


The average score or value in a distribution of data. The sum of all values divided by the number of respondents.


The middle value of scores or values in a distribution of data.

Message Center

The message center allows users to access the messages sent to them from the Qualtrics Team. The message center can also be used to send messages to other users in your brand.

Message Library

Library to store messages available for future use in surveys.


The value that occurs most frequently in a data set.

Move Panel

This option allows users to move panels into a different folder within the survey library, or to move the survey from the library into a group library.



The original creator of a survey that has all access to viewing, editing, and distributing the surveys they created. The owner can share a survey with another Qualtrics user but they will remain the owner.

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The probability that a particular result would occur by chance if the hypothesis is true; the exact probability of a Type I error.


A panel is a list of information containing email addresses, contact information, or other Embedded Data (e.g. age, gender, job title, income, ID numbers, etc.) that can be uploaded into Qualtrics and used in survey distribution and data analysis.

Panel Members

The individual contacts that are uploaded into a panel (First Name, Last Name, Email). When the survey is distributed, each Panel Member will receive a unique survey link.

Panel Sample

Allows users to send surveys to a subset of an existing panel. Users can create samples by filtering respondents based on embedded data, recipient history, or recipient sample membership.

Panel Trigger

The panel trigger option, when set up, tells the system to automatically create a new panel with the panel fields data coming from questions within a survey. For example, if the question, “What is your name?” appears in a survey, users can tell the system to pipe the answers to that question into the “Name” field of a new panel.

Partial Completion

Any response where the respondent has not completed all of the questions and has not hit the last “next” button to submit the survey. In Survey Options, users can choose whether or not they want to record partially completed responses. If a user wants the system to record partially completed responses, he or she can set how long they want the system to wait before it closes the partially completed responses and records them.


Permissions dictate how much access users have to tools within the Qualtrics system as well as how many surveys, responses, and outgoing emails are allowed for the account. Limits to permissions are listed in Account Settings. Brand Administrators can change permissions.

Pipe Smart Text

Piped text allows users to import text into surveys or email messages from another question or from another source available in Qualtrics (e.g. panel or embedded data field, loop and merge field, or scoring category).


A poll is a data collection method where people can anonymously vote on an issue/topic. Qualtrics offers a polling feature that can be created in an account and embedded on a website.

Population Size

Total number of people whose opinion the researcher is looking for. For example, if a researcher wants the opinion of all Americans, the population would be approximately 330 million.

Print Survey

Gives users the ability to print a survey or export it to a PDF file. You can print a copy of your survey from the Edit Survey tab or from the menu on your internet browser.

Public Report

Creates a link to a survey report. This allows users to share the results of surveys without giving others access to an account.

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Question – Constant Sum

This question type typically uses sliders and asks respondents to total a specific quantity among different options. For instance, users often ask respondents to report what percentage of their time they spend on different activities totaling 100%.

Question – Drill Down

The Drill Down question type allows respondents to choose an answer option by narrowing down from a general category to a specific category. In order to achieve this objective you have to provide ALL possible combinations within different categories.

Question – HeatMap

This question type asks users to click a spot on an image. The results are shown as a heat map image, indicating where respondents clicked and how many clicked each spot. This is typically used for advertising and web site construction.

Question – Hot Spot

This is a graphic question that asks respondents to give feedback on specific portions of an image. Respondents can click on each spot to turn it green and a second time to turn it red. This is typically used in testing websites and other images by asking respondents to indicate whether they like or dislike parts of an image.

Question – Matrix Table

This is a question type where multiple questions and responses are given in a matrix table format with the same scale points.

Question – Meta Info Question

Records respondents’ browser information (i.e. browser type, browser version, etc.). These questions are not displayed to respondents.

Question – Multiple Choice

This is the most commonly used survey question and the default in a Qualtrics survey. It requires the respondent to choose from a list of answer choices. It can be used as single answer or multiple answer.

Question – Pick, Group, and Rank

A question type that allows users to create a list of items to the left of the question, and a group or groups on the right that the listed items can be placed into. The items within each group can then be ranked. Each listed item will be shown in the raw data as two columns: one for the group it was placed into (starting at 0 for the first group and going up) and one for the rank it had within that group (starting at 1 and going up).

Question – Rank Order

A question type that allows for ranking each choice in the question. There are various ways for how this question is administered, including drag and drop, entering a number, and radio buttons (similar to look of a matrix likert scale question).

Question – Side by Side

A question type that allows for placing multiple matrix likert scale questions next to each other in a column format, using the same row statements/questions. The different scales are reported separately, as if they are separate matrix likert scale questions.

Question – Slider

A question type that displays a slider the respondent can click/drag to a particular spot on a scale to designate a particular count or percentage, similar to the Constant Sum question type.

Question – Text Entry

A question type that allows the respondent to enter text in a variety of formats. Various forms of content type validation are available to make sure responses are entered correctly (such as zip codes, dates, number, text only, etc.). Since data from text entry questions can be virtually anything, these responses are just listed in the reports and no actual analysis is done. Analysis would need to be done using an external tool.

Question – Text/Graphic

A question type that doesn’t actually ask a question, but instead provides the survey creator a place to put explanatory text or graphics in the survey without having to ask for a question response. Since there is no response to be received, questions of this type do not appear in the reports section. The raw data downloads will show a column for the Text/Graphic question type, which is marked with a “1” if it was displayed to the survey taker.

Question – Timing

A question type that allows for timing how long an individual is on a particular page of the survey. It will count the amount of time until the respondent’s first click on the page, last click on the page, and when they clicked the Submit/Next button, as well as how many times they clicked on the page. This is hidden to the respondent (though visible in the Survey Preview when testing out a survey). It is important to remember this is a page timer, so if there is a particular element that needs to be timed, the page timer should be on a page with just that particular element.

Question Library

A location in personal and group accounts where individual questions can be stored and referenced when building a new survey. Question Library questions can be accessed in the Edit Survey tab by clicking the Copy Questions From button at the bottom of each question block, or by clicking the Change Question Type button and selecting the purple Use Question from the Library button.

Question Numbers

The tags (Q1,Q2, etc.) to the left of survey questions. These tags are exported with survey results into SPSS or Excel and indicate which question responses are related to.

Quick Survey Builder

The preferred survey creation option in Qualtrics that allows users to create a survey from scratch.


A prescribed number of collected responses that meet a certain condition. Quotas can be used when setting conditions for displaying questions and can help you set a limit on the allowed amount of respondents.

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Radio Buttons

The round buttons that appear in a single answer multiple choice or Matrix style question.


To make random in arrangement, especially in order to control the variables in an experiment or survey. Qualtrics provides three types of randomization: choice randomization, question randomization, and block randomization.

Recode Values

Each answer choice is automatically coded with a number upon creation. Use it to change how a response will be measured quantitatively. This option is found in the Advanced Question drop-down menu to the left of the question.

Regression Analysis

The mathematical relationship between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables. It is used to make predictions of a variable based on one or multiple other predictor variables.

Reminder Messages

A message that can be sent as a follow up to a distribution through the Survey Mailer. Reminders only go out to those who have not completed the survey. See Thank You Messages.

Remove Formatting

A tool for clearing or removing formatting from text, such as Bold, Italics, Underline, etc. This will also remove HTML and other code formatting that could be used in the Source or Code Views of question text, etc.


Individuals who will be taking the survey. This can be a predetermined group (which would be best reached by a panel) or a group that is simply responding to an anonymous survey link.

Response Set

Response sets allow users to place survey responses into different buckets, allowing them to view results of the same survey for different collection periods. For example, quarterly or monthly surveys could be collected in different buckets. Responses recorded in different response sets cannot be analyzed together.


Survey sessions started by a respondent. In View Results you can see Responses in Progress and Recorded Responses.


A conglomeration of all of the survey takers responses.

Rich Content Editor

A tool available wherever you entering text into survey, messages, etc. It allows you to change fonts, text sizes, add images and videos, create hyperlinks, and more.

RSS Feed

RSS stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication,’ and it is a standardized formatted web feed of frequently changing content that is often associated with headlines, top stories, blog entries, audio, video, or other frequently updated works. You can tie an RSS feed into your survey by using the Web Service element in the Survey Flow.

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Sample Management (Panels)

Tool that allows creating a sample from a panel. The sample can have a quota and be filtered by an embedded data field or the respondent history.

Sample Size

The number of people in a population to be surveyed. The sample size should be big enough to have a high likelihood of detecting a true difference between two groups.


Scoring allows users to add point values to the questions in a survey. Users are able to select which answers will receive points and which will not. The score can then be viewed in the results.

Self-Enrollment Access Code

Users can distribute this access code to allow new users to self-enroll in an organization and automatically be assigned to a specific brand and user type.


Delivery of the survey to the respondents. Qualtrics users can distribute through several different methods including a simple email, a panel-based email, or a pop-up box.


The ability to give access to a survey to others. See Collaborate.

Site Intercept

An advanced tool that will help you display the survey through a pop-up on a website. It is highly customizable, allowing you to decide when your survey is displayed and to whom.

Skip Logic

Skips respondents over one or more questions in a survey based on answer choices.

Spell Check

A tool found under the Edit Survey tab. It works similar to spell check in word processors. It finds misspelled words and offers suggestions.


Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) is one of the most widely used software packages for survey analysis.

Standard Deviation

The measure of variability or dispersion that describes on average how much a particular score deviates above or below the mean.

Remove Formatting

A tool for clearing or removing formatting from text, such as Bold, Italics, Underline, etc. This will also remove HTML and other code formatting that could be used in the Source or Code Views of question text, etc.


A group within a group. In Qualtrics, this applies to groups created within reports for advanced analysis.

Summary Report

This report is accessible to Brand Administrators. It gives an overview of usage for a brand.

Survey Director

This is a Qualtrics distribution feature that allows one link to be redirected to multiple locations, based upon conditions set by the distributor. Once a survey director link is sent out, users can still choose to change where it directs.

Survey Flow

The order in which the survey appears, complete with branching, logics, randomization, etc. The Survey Flow icon takes users to Qualtrics’ Survey Flow where they can add branching, logic, randomization, etc. on a block level. Those features within questions are handled directly in the Edit Survey tab.

Survey Library

A shared library can be accessed with the Copy Questions From purple link at the bottom of the Edit Survey tab as well as from the Library tab. The library contains surveys created by the user (in some organizations, this includes surveys within the user’s organization), and hundreds of surveys already created by Qualtrics.

Survey Mailer

Allows users to send surveys via the Qualtrics mail system. Surveys sent with Qualtrics Survey Mailer have a unique link that allows users to track respondents and prevent multiple responses from the same link.

Survey Options

This menu is found in the Edit Survey tab and allow you to customize settings for each individual survey. It includes survey settings for survey protection, custom survey termination, inactive surveys and partially completed surveys.

Survey Preview Mode

Allows the survey creator to truncate (or minimize) the “edit view” of the survey during the creation process. In survey preview mode, the survey creator can view the untruncated version of the questions by simply clicking on the question. It can be selected and deselected at the discretion of the survey creator and is found in the advanced options drop-down menu bar in the Edit Survey tab.

Survey Search

A search box found in the My Surveys tab. This search field can be used to narrow down the number of surveys displayed in the My Surveys tab by typing in any of the letters contained in the titles of the surveys.

Surveys Completed

One of the numbers that appear in the gray toolbar when the View Results tab is selected. This number details the total number of respondents who clicked on the link to the survey they received, and also clicked on the very last “next” button in the survey, causing their responses to be recorded.

Surveys Started

This appears in the gray toolbar when the View Results tab is selected. This number details the total number of responses you have collected. In addition to completed responses, it includes responses from those who clicked on the link to the survey, answered at least one question, and dropped out before completing the survey. Please note that responses still in progress are not included in this total.

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Test Survey

Allows you to automate test cycles of the survey. It provides test data so you can see how the results will be recorded. Test surveys do not respond to quotas and can be deleted on the Responses page before the actual survey is distributed.

Thank You Messages

Emails that can be sent to those who have completed the survey. When you distribute through our mailer to a panel, Qualtrics can pick out which respondents have already completed the survey and deliver these messages exclusively to them. See Reminder Messages.


The survey translator allows users to easily translate the questions in a survey into another language by viewing a split screen image – with the original question on the left and the one to be translated on the right. One advantage of the survey translator is that every response, no matter what language it’s taken in, will be aggregated into a single data set.

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Surveys distributed using the Qualtrics mailer send unique links by default, meaning each has an ID and can only be taken once. The answers are associated with the respondent’s information that is embedded with the panel. Unique links are useful for panel tracking.

Upgrade Codes

Codes that allow a Qualtrics user to either sign up and create an account within a specific brand or upgrade their user type. Upgrade codes are created and managed by the Brand Administrator.

User Types

Every Qualtrics user is assigned a user type. These types specify what access users have. Each Qualtrics brand has at least one “brand administrator” who controls the brand and permissions within it. Brand Administrators can create user types and assign them to users.


Individual account holders.

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The validation feature forces respondents to answer a specific question before they can move on to subsequent pages in the survey.


The square of the Standard Deviation or the mean of the squared deviation scores.

View Survey (Survey Preview Mode)

One of the options found in the gray toolbar (in the Edit Survey tab) of the Qualtrics survey building tool. This tool enables a user to preview the entire survey they have built (generally for testing purposes) without having to answer any questions that have validation enabled (if they select “Ignore Validation”). In addition, this tool can be used to allow a user to go through the survey and jump back to the the beginning of the survey at will (by clicking on the “Click Here to Start Over” link). If a user completes the survey (by clicking on the final “next” button in the survey), the responses will be recorded in the results section.

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Web Service

Web services can be integrated with Qualtrics through the Qualtrics API. The Web Service element can be inserted in the Survey Flow. Qualtrics’ Professional Services Team is also available to consult on Web Services and provide them for an additional fee.


An online web conference used to conduct live meetings, trainings, or presentations.

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