Rank order

This question type can be used to have the respondent rank different items (e.g. colours) in a certain order. You can, for example, find out what the respondent’s favourite colour is, but also which colour has the highest average score.

For this question type, the number of ranks plays an important role. You can indicate the number of ranking options in a scroll bar on the right, see under Items. The maximum number of ranking options is determined by the number of items related to the question. The image above shows that the respondent can select up to three items from the question.

  • The item which is placed at the top (e.g. the colour Yellow) by the respondent when filling in the survey, will be awarded 3 points.
  • The item that occupies the second position (e.g. the colour Red), will be awarded 2 points.
  • Finally, the item in the third position (e.g. the colour Black) will receive 1 point.

If a respondent has selected 3 colours, but wants to change the hierarchy between them (for example the colour Black should be moved from the third position to the second), the respondent should hover the mouse cursor over the corresponding item (the colour Black) so that the cursor takes the shape of a hand (see the first image). This respondent can then drag the colour Black to the second position by holding down the left mouse button. Once this item has reached the desired position, the respondent can release the left mouse button.

Using the = icon (circled in red), the participant can remove a selected item from the ranking overview and add another item, if necessary.

If the Randomize items setting has been checked, then respondents will view the items in randomized order. If randomization is enabled, you can also exclude items from randomization.

If the Force response setting has been checked, then the respondent must select as many items as indicated on the slider under Number of ranks, when filling out the survey.

If, for example, 10 participants have filled in the survey, you can review the results in the online report. To do this, you can click the red circled icon in the created basic report, see under Analyze. Click here for a description of how to create a basic report.

After clicking on the corresponding rank order question in the online report, a chart appears on the left, displaying the total point score (of all survey participants) for each item.

From the above chart, you can deduce that the item (here: the colour Yellow) has gained the most points. The point score is calculated as follows:

  • Of the 10 participants, 5 have placed the colour Yellow at the first rank (position). In addition, there are 2 participants who have assigned the colour Yellow to the third rank. An item ranked first, second and third is awarded 3, 2 and 1 points respectively. The total number of points for the colour Yellow is therefore equal to 5x3 + 2x1 = 17.
  • Of the same 10 participants, 2 have assigned the colour Orange to the first rank (position). Subsequently, there are 4 participants who have ranked this colour second. Finally, there is 1 participant who has allocated the third position to this colour. This brings the point score for this colour to: 2x3 + 4x2 + 1x1 = 15.

The point score for the other items (the other colours) is calculated in the same way as described above. The calculation depends mainly on the number of ranks set for this question. Suppose that the number of ranking options is set to 2 by means of the scroll bar, then

  • the item placed at the first position by the respondent (upon completing the survey), will be awarded 2 points,
  • the item placed second by the respondent (upon completing the survey), will be awarded 1 point.

In the raw data, the ranking position of an item (colour) per participant is indicated per record (line). So the first participant in the example above ranks the colour Yellow (column q1_1) first (3 points); the colour Orange (column q1_4) second (2 points).

The tenth (last) participant in this overview ranks the colour Yellow (column q1_1) in third position (1 point) and the colour Orange (column q1_4) in second position (2 points).

Note: In the raw data, you will not find a point score as in the online report.

Updated on January 28, 2022

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