Conditional Logic

  • 23 March 2021
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  • Community Manager
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How to Use Conditional Logic in Your Surveys

Using conditional logic (or skip logic) allows you to add conditions to questions

When you are creating your own surveys, you may want respondents to skip certain questions based on their answers to other questions. For these situations, you will add conditions to your survey. This is called conditional logic or skip logic (as respondents skip questions that do not apply to them). 


Using conditional logic ensures that respondents will not see questions that do not apply to them. By programming a survey with skip logic, we can ensure that respondents are presented only with questions that apply to them based on their answers to yes/no questions such as "Have you had any interaction with the ABC Police Department in the last 12 months?" or "Are you currently employed?" In this way, we can show only questions that apply to the respondent.


Without conditional logic, administrators must rely on respondents reading the instructions and correctly following them. When respondents are filling out surveys, they may be confused about which questions to answer and which to skip. For example, if the question is “Have you had any interaction with the ABC Police Department in the last 12 months?” the respondent may answer “no.” The next question could ask the respondent to rate their interactions with the police. If the respondent fills out this question, the resulting data may not be as accurate.


Why use conditional logic in your surveys? 


  • It reduces the burden on respondents because they don’t have to fill out more questions than necessary. 

  • It makes it easier for respondents to fill out surveys since they don’t have to follow detailed instructions about which questions to answer and which to skip.

  • It results in cleaner data as it gives the administrator more control over who answers each question. 


Some surveys in the Polco Library already include conditional logic. Editing these surveys to send to your respondents will not affect the conditional logic within the survey. 


Is there a way to test the conditional logic rules before publishing?

  • Yes! You can preview your survey and test the conditional logic in preview mode.




How do I include a “Free Text” option into a “Multiple Choice” question? For example: Answer options are A, B, C, or “Other”. For “Other”, you would like the respondent to explain their answer.

Create a multiple choice question with the answer options above. Then, create a second question with free text. In the free text question description, write: “If you selected “Other”, please explain your answer here.” Add a question condition, so that only those who answered “Other” see the follow up free text question.  

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