ExpiWell: Types of Question Formats for EMA and ESM

Types of Question Formats for EMA and ESM

13 Types of Questions

There are several different types of questions that can be created in a survey.

1.  Multiple Choice Format Question

This enables participants to select one choice among multiple different choices. This is also often used for Likert-type or frequency rating scales (e.g., "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree"; "not at all" to "very often"). This format is excellent for presenting a single question on a page and can show up to 10 response options without scrolling.

Multiple Choice Question Type

2. Checkbox Question

This allows participants to select multiple options in their response. This option is excellent for when researchers want to have participants choose multiple possibilities (e.g., what activities did you do in the past 5 hours?)

Checkbox Question Type

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NONE and OTHER Options

-If participants choose 'None of the above', they would not be able to select any other response.

-If participants choose 'Other (please specify)', they would be able to type in their response.
-Researchers are also allowed to toggle both NONE and OTHER options, giving more options to participants to respond.

multiple options for the responses

3. Text-type Question

This question type is used to capture text information from participants (e.g., qualitative text information). The text may be in long form text that participants type. The texts may also be numeric, email, or dates. The format of the numeric, email, and date texts will be checked by the mobile apps to ensure that they are correct. For example, if "email" is requested, the program will check if the email address format participants enter is a valid one.

Some researchers want to obtain "text" information from participants through audio data. For example, some researchers are interested in day narratives may ask participants to share about their day on audio. This can help save participants time from having to type their responses. Note the researchers will then receive the audio files and have to transcribe the recording.

Text Question Type

Select the format of the response you would like from participants. 
input type options
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For 'Numeric' input type, participants are only allowed to enter numbers.

4. Multimedia Capture Question

This question type allows participants to provide photo, video, or voice data. Researchers often use this to capture information about the environment that participants are in or use it to obtain lengthy audio recordings instead of having participants type responses. Or, researchers may be interested in participants take pictures of a product, social environment, or an experience. Researchers can choose from the "Input Type" dropdown menu to select image, audio, or video data.

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Participants are allowed to upload only 1 media file per question. Multimedia's maximum upload size is 500MB per question.

Multimedia Question Type

5. Rating "Stars" Question

This question type enables participants to choose the number of "stars" when rating something (e.g., event, movie, restaurant, etc.). Researchers simply specify the number of stars they want the rating system to be based upon (e.g., 4 stars, 5 stars, 7 stars, etc.). Participants can give half-star ratings as well (e.g., 3.5 stars). 

Rating Stars Question

6. Instruction Question

As the name implies, this allows researchers to include instructions or consent form information. Participants are not given the option to respond. This is a form of read-only content.

Instruction Question Type

7. Dropdown Question

The dropdown question enables participants to view and choose one option from a long list of options (e.g., countries, age in years, etc.) from a dropdown options box. This is very helpful when you do not want participants to page scroll.

Dropdown Question Type

8. Branching Forced Choice Question

This is a more complicated question type; it allows researchers to enable forced choice responses in a two-step process.

For example:

Step 1. Have participants choose between two statements, such as "I enjoy meeting new people" and "I dislike meeting new people."
Step 2. The statement chosen (e.g., "I enjoy meeting new people") will be presented along with the options "Always" or "Usually."

Branching Logic Step 1         Branching Logic Step 2
See video tutorial here

9. Counter Question

This provides a way for researchers to capture behavioral counts within a specific time period. For example, how often you give your child an instruction and how many times they obey, sampled in a 5-minute window. This is often used by clinicians to have participants keep track of a behavior (e.g., number of cigarettes smoked, number of drinks).

Counter Question

10. Sliding Scale Question

The scale question is used when researchers are interested in a sliding scale format with two end points.
      1-This is where you can type in your questions or statements.
      2-There will be 2 endpoints with labels, and also an option to put a middle/center label.
      3- Toggling this will show options 4, 5, and 6.
      4-Option to change the slider number(e.g., 0 to 100, 1 to 5, etc...).
      5-Option to change the starting point of the slider (left side, center, right side).
      6-Option to hide the slider number.
modify options for the survey questions

11. Matrix Question

The matrix question type serves as a way to display multiple questions across a scale under the umbrella of the same prompt. This question type helps to streamline the question series into one screen, rather than making separate dropdown or multiple choice options for each question.

Grid Question Type

The matrix question type also provides additional customization features:

Grid Question Type Options

Forced Choice: Restricts the participant to selecting only one answer per column.
Use Weights: Allows researchers to assign values to the question columns; can be used to create a score for the question, which is shown in the downloadable data file. 
Require Response: Requires participants to respond to the questions before they can proceed.

12. Time and Date Question

The time and date question enables participants to enter time and date format questions.  

Time and Date Question Type

This enables participants to easily select the time (AM/PM or 24 hour), Date, or Day/Month/Year. 
Time and Date Input Options

13. Grid Question

The grid question type enables participants to enter their responses in a 2 x 2 to 6 x 6 grid. This is useful for using a single item to assess two different dimensions. For instance, in psychology, researchers seek to assess where individuals stand on both valence and arousal in the moment (i.e., affect grid). 

Grid Question

The grid question will display on the mobile app in this format.

the grid question

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