# Randomizing order of choices and options

When it is possible and relevant, you can randomize the order of choices or options. This setting is available, in every choice based question type, such as single and multiple selection questions, Picture Selection or Picture Ranking questions, dropdown menus, and all types of rating questions. This is helpful when you want to ensure that the order in which choices are presented is not influencing your survey results

The reason behind randomizing order of choices is that some respondents tend to disappointingly choose the first or last choices from a list, because those are very easy to spot. This may happen for instance, when you have a long list of options to choose from, or display too many pictures to select in the Media Gallery.

This creates a problem known as “order bias”.

The picture above is for illustrative purposes only.

When this setting is enabled, our system uses the modern version of Fisher–Yates shuffle algorithm for generating a random permutation of the choices of a questions. The algorithm shuffles the set by effectively putting all the choices into a hat; it continually determines the next element by randomly drawing a choice from the hat until no choice remains. This way, we can produce an unbiased permutation, which means every permutation is equally likely.

Note:

Although you cannot and should not randomize the order of scaled questions, randomizing the order of other choices is a good strategy for reducing order bias. Scaled question are those which represent a meaningful spectrum of choices placed in a certain order which is either increasing or decreasing in value. You can also assign points to these types of choices, to use in your final calculations. For example a question with the following answers is a scaled question:

1 – Poor
2 – Fair
3 – Good
4 – Very good
5 – Excellent

See more of these so called Likert-type scaled examples here.

No need to say that shuffling the order of choices in such questions would only make it hard for your respondents to understand the logic, and answer correctly.

Note:

If the last choice in your list is “Other”, you may destry the natural flow of choices by randomizing their order. To avoid this problem, try to use our inbuilt “Other choice“, by manually activating this setting.

## How to enable

You can easily enable this settings for any choice based question type for your new surveys or existing surveys.

1. First go to the Create step of the creation mode (or the edit mode of existing surveys)
2. Then simply click on the desired question.
3. Now in the Settings section, turn on “Randomize choices “, by toggling the ON/OFF button.

Tip:

Our system will even intelligently remembers the order in which responses were presented to each individual user. Therefore, we’re are able to display them to you in the exact same order, when you’re previewing the Individual Responses. This will be helpful when you analyze the collected data.

Randomizing order of choices is available in: