Survey Platform - Loop & Merge | Qualtrics

Loop & Merge

Introduction

Loop & Merge allows you to take a block of questions and dynamically repeat them multiple times for a respondent.

Example: A clothing company wants to ask a set of questions about each of its clothing departments. Rather than taking the time to create new questions for men’s clothing, women’s clothing, and children’s clothing, the questions could be created once. Loop & Merge could then automatically repeat the set of questions once for each clothing department the respondent indicated they visited.

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For a quick example of what Loop & Merge can do, view our Loop & Merge Example Survey.

Turning on Loop & Merge

Qtip: Loop & Merge is turned on and off for an entire block, so you’ll want to be sure that all of the questions you want to loop through are in one block.
  1. In the Survey module, click Block Options for the block you want to repeat and select Loop & Merge.image08
  2. Click Turn On Loop & Merge.image00

Once Loop & Merge is turned on, you can specify how your block of questions will be repeated. Choose to loop based on questions, numbers, or predetermined fields.

The next step is creating and understanding Loop & Merge Fields.

Loop & Merge Fields

Each time you turn on Loop & Merge, you create Loop & Merge Fields. These fields are used to create dynamic text that is different for each loop.

Each loop has its own set of fields. Field 1 is the “name” of the loop. You can populate Field 1 with answer choices from a previous question, or with manually entered text. Both of these options are described below.

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The first loop is Men’s Clothing, the second loop is Women’s Clothing, and so on.

After entering text in Field 1, you can create additional fields. To add or remove fields, click the plus and minus buttons.

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To enter text in the additional fields for each loop, click on the field and type text directly into the box. Continue adding and filling fields until you have all the fields you need.

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In the first loop of this survey, Field 1 will be Men’s Clothing, Field 2 will be Shorts, and so on. In the second loop, Field 1 will be Women’s Clothing, Field 2 will be Shorts, and so on.

Within the Loop & Merge block, you can use these fields to customize each loop with Piped Text. Piping in Field 1 will display the Field 1 text for the loop and piping in Field 2 will display the Field 2 text.

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When a respondent is in the Women’s Clothing loop, the first question will read, “How often do you shop in the Women’s Clothing department?” The second question will read, “How often do you purchase Shorts?”

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This is how the respondent will see the Field 1 and Field 2 when they’re in the Women’s Clothing loop.
Qtip: For more information on piping text in a Loop & Merge block, view Piping Text from a Loop & Merge Field.

Automatically bring in Field 1 from a previous question

To bring in Field 1 from a previous question in your survey, select Loop based off of a question. You can then click on the corresponding fields to enter any text you want in Fields 2, 3, etc. To add or remove fields, click the plus and minus buttons.

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Manually enter Field 1

To enter Field 1 manually, click directly on the field and enter text. Do the same for any text you want to have in other fields as well. To add rows, click the last row. To remove rows, click the red minus sign to the left of each row. To add or remove fields, click the plus and minus buttons.

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Looping Based on a Question

Looping off of a question allows you to present respondents with the same block of questions once for each of a previous question’s choices.

Example: You could ask your respondents which products they typically purchase and then ask them questions about each product.

Before setting up this Loop & Merge, you’ll need at least two question blocks in your survey. The first block should contain a question that will determine which loops to show to the respondent. The second block will be looped.

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In the first block, respondents are asked which departments they shop in. They will then loop through the Product Satisfaction block once for each department they select.

To loop based on a question

  1. In the Survey module,click Block Options for the block you want to repeat and select Loop & Merge.image08
  2. Click Turn On Loop & Merge.image15
  3. Click the Loop based off of a question checkbox.image01
    Qtip: A block can be looped based on the following question types: Multiple Choice, Matrix Table, Slider, Side by Side, Text Entry, Rank Order, Constant Sum, Pick Group and Rank, Hot Spot, and Gap Analysis.
  4. Select the question with the information to be looped and choose which answer choices to loop through.image26
    Qtip: The answer options will vary for each question type. For a multiple choice question, for example, choose to loop through All Choices, Displayed Choices, Not Displayed Choices, Selected Choices, or Unselected Choices.
  5. If desired, select the Randomize Loop Order checkbox. To limit the number of loops shown to each respondent,  select Present only [#] of total Loops.

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  6. Click Save.2015-06-04_11-21-56

Looping Based on a Number

You can use a text-entry question to determine the number of times to loop through a block.

Example: You can ask your respondents how many children they have, and then have them fill out a block of questions once for each child.

Before setting up this Loop & Merge, you’ll need at least two question blocks in your survey. The first block should contain a Text Entry question that will determine how many loops to show to the respondent. The second block will be looped.

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In the Loop & Merge Condition block, respondents are asked how many children they have. They will then loop through the Age block once for each child.

To Loop based on a Number

  1. In the Survey module, click Block Options for the block you want to repeat and select Loop & Merge.image24
  2. Click Turn On Loop & Merge.image15
  3. Select the Loop based off of a question checkbox.image01
  4. Select the Text Entry question and choose Numeric Response. If needed, specify the maximum number of loops you want to allow.image28
  5. If desired, select the Randomize Loop Order checkbox. To limit the number of loops shown to each respondent, select Present only [#] of total loops. Additionally you can add extra information in the other columns of the Loop & Merge settings.image04
  6. Click Save.image07

Static Loop & Merge

You can have the survey loop the same for each respondent by setting up static fields. With static Loop & Merge, you can manually enter the fields that each respondent should loop through.

Example: Have all your respondents loop through a “Product Awareness” block once for each of your products.

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To loop based on static fields

  1. In the Survey module, click Block Options for the block you want to repeat and select Loop & Merge.2015-06-04_12-03-43
  2. Click Turn On Loop & Merge.image15
  3. Type directly in the first Field 1 box to specify Field 1 for the first loop (by default, the survey will loop through this block once for each row containing a value in the Field 1 column).image34
  4. To add rows, click the last row. To remove rows, click the red minus sign to the left of each row. To add or remove fields, click the plus and minus buttons. For more information on editing and piping text from Fields, see Loop & Merge Fields.
  5. If desired, select the Randomize Loop Order checkbox. This will randomize the order the loops are shown to your respondents. To limit the number of loops shown to each respondent, select Present only [#] of total loops.
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  6. Click Save.
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Looping Based on Yes/No

You may want to allow your respondents to repeat your loop as many times as they want. To allow this, place a “Yes” or “No” question at the end of your block. The question could ask something like: “Would you like to rate another product?” Now your respondents can dictate whether or not they loop through your block again by answering this question. Because you do not know how many purchases they have recently made, you want your respondent to loop through until they have been able to rank all of their purchases.

To loop based on Yes/No

  1. In the Survey module, add a Yes/No question to the end of the block you want to repeat.image18
  2. Click Block Options and select Loop & Merge.image21
  3. Click Turn On Loop & Merge.image15
  4. Add more fields than any of your respondents would complete. You can leave these field blank because you do not need to merge any information into the loop.image22
  5. Click Save.image27
  6. In the looped block, add Display Logic to every question so that they only display if the respondent did not select “No” to the Yes/No question.
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    This is what your condition will look like in your Display Logic window.

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    As long as your respondents select “Yes”, they will keep looping through the block. Once your respondents select “No”, they will leave the Loop & Merge and continue the  survey.

Randomizing Loop Order

Within a Loop & Merge block, you can display the loops in a randomized order and limit the number of loops that are displayed to each respondent.

After setting Loop & Merge on a block, you can access loop randomization settings by clicking the Loop & Merge Text icon.

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This opens the Loop & Merge dialog box. To turn on loop randomization, select the Randomize Loop Order checkbox. If you want to limit the number of loops shown to each respondent, select Present only __ of total Loops and type a value into the text entry box.

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Viewing Loop Order in Your Data

When viewing your data, each loop is treated as a separate set of questions. If you have 5 possible loops, you will see the looped questions repeated 5 times in the data. Even if a respondent isn’t shown all of the loops, all possible loops will be represented in the data.

Loop & Merge Example Data

The question “How often do you shop in the ${lm://Field/1} department?” from our example survey will output raw data in a CSV file to look something like this:

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The question “How often do you shop in the ${lm://Field/1} department?” is repeated five times in the data, once for each loop.
Warning: Loop & Merge data is not available for Cross Tabulations.

Using Logic in Loop & Merge Blocks

In Loop & Merge blocks, you can base Display Logic off of which loop the respondent is currently in. You can use this feature to hide a question during certain loops.

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This question will be displayed only during the Men’s Clothing loop.

Turning Off Loop & Merge

Turning off Loop & Merge will deactivate the Loop & Merge settings on a block. Respondents who take your survey after the deactivation will move through the block only once (e.g., the block will behave normally).

Warning: Be sure to update or correct any piped text or display logic that might be based on loops or fields!

To turn off Loop & Merge

  1. In the Survey module, locate the block for which you want to turn off Loop & Merge.
  2. Click the Loop & Merge Text icon on the block.image14
  3. Click Turn Off Loop & Merge.image29