Name (Questionnaire Files)


Identifies the item name and provides a variable name for the data file.


Any string, up to 60 characters. Keep in mind though that some statistical packages and spreadsheet applications may still have difficulty working with longer variable names. Avoid spaces, special characters and variable names that start with a number. Be sure to view and analyze some practice data before going too crazy with this feature.


This field is the variable name. A unique name is required for every item in the questionnaire. This is the name that will be written to the SPSS and SAS input files. For items that collect multiple responses, numbers will be appended to the name. Item names also allow for skip patterns and thought ratings and for the insertion of subjects' responses into later question wordings.


Most data analysis programs react negatively to a few things that can be avoided here. For example:

Avoid variable names that begin with a number.

Avoid using the same variable name for different items.

Some other things to know:

Reaction times are represented in you data input file by a 't' added to the corresponding variable names.

Questions that gather multiple responses (e.g., a thought listing question named thlist) are represented by an incremental index appended to the variable name (e.g., thlist_1, thlist_2, thlist_3, etc.). Consequently, to keep the output variable name to a maximum of 8 characters, keep in mind that 2 to 4 additional characters will be appended to the variable name (e.g., _4, _12, plus a t prefix for the reaction time variables if they’re being recorded). If you always limit such variable names to a maximum of four characters you will always be safe.