Skip To (Questionnaire Files)


The Skip to field allows the Editor to create simple or advanced skip patterns in their Questionnaire File. Use of the Skip to field only works to skip to subsequent items within the same Questionnaire File.


Conditional Skipping based on Scale Responses

After a scale response, MediaLab checks it for it corresponding Skip To value. If the value is none, it proceeds to the next question. If it has any other value, it assumes that value is an item name and skips each subsequent items in that Questionnaire File until it finds the one with the variable name that matches the Skip to value it's looking for. Skipped items will be assigned missing values in the data set.

Unconditional Skipping

In some cases you may want to skip over items unconditionally. Unlike conditional skipping, you can do this with any item type. For unconditional skipping from a scale response simply place the same item name in each Skip To field of all the response choices. For all other item types, simply enter the item name you wish to skip to in the single Skip To field.

Unconditional skipping is especially useful for rejoining subjects who have been conditionally skipped to various points in the questionnaire so that they end up at a common place. When they are done their special sections, they can be joined up to the same item in that Questionnaire File by putting an unconditional skip item at the end of each of their custom sections. In each case they are all skipped to the same item and continue on with the same set of items.

Advanced Hints

Combining the skip function with RWG (Randomize-Within Groups) you can achieve extra randomization functionality. For example, to randomly present 5 of 10 items give all 10 items the same RWG value (e.g., 1). This will randomize their order. Then, embed a blank instruction item with a delay of 1 second after the fifth item and give it a skip value to go the item following the tenth randomized item. This will result in the five of the ten items being presented (which were randomly ordered) after which MediaLab will automatically skip the remaining 5 unpresented items and proceed with the rest of the questionnaire.

Skipping a Fixed Number of Items

As an alternative to explicitly naming the variable you want to skip to, you can simply enter +1, +2, +3, +n, etc. MediaLab will automatically skip that many items without needing to know the name of a Skip to variable--it will simply resume wherever it ends up. This is especially nice when the item being skipped to is randomly determined and so you do not actually know the variable name ahead of time.

Skipping on Multiple Response Items

You can include Skip to values with multiple response items but they work  if and only if the subject chooses a single response. To be super safe, you can combine this with the (r1-1) parameter in order to disallow multiple options from being selected. For example, typing


in the Parameter(s) field for a 5-item multiple response item will ensure that only one of the five response options must be chosen and, consequently, guarantees your skips to work.