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Logic and Randomization


This article is designed as a supplement to the Qualtrics seminar hosted by CASIT Training. Within Qualtrics, once questions have been built into the survey, the survey builder can incorporate survey logic and randomization to customize the flow and of the survey and behavior of each question or block of questions. Click on the section titles below for more information.

To create surveys with Qualtrics, click here.

Logic Types

Display Logic

  • Only displays a follow-up question based upon the selected answer in a previous question.
  • Can be found in the Question Panel or the Question Options Menu.
  • In the example below, display logic on a question is indicated by the blue Display This Question section at the top of the Question/Answer Space with the conditions listed.

Skip Logic

  • Skips a certain amount of the survey (or the entire survey) based on the selected answer choice for a particular question.
  • Can be found in the Question Panel or the Question Options Menu.
  • In the example below, skip logic on a question is indicated by the gray box stating the logic conditions.

Carry Forward

  • Allows for answer choices from a previous question to be reused in a follow-up question.
  • Can be found in the Question Options Menu
  • In the example below, the answer choices from the second question has a green box indicating that the answers are from the first question pictured. Generally, Carry Forward logic can be applied from one question to any other question in the survey.
    • The second question in the example also display randomization as set up properly. Go to Randomization for more information.


  • Similar to Display Logic and Skip Logic but it is only available block-to-block when there are multiple blocks set up in the survey. It is for having a question direct the respondent to another block of the survey.
  • Branching is one of several other options in which to guide the respondent based on their selected answer choice.
  • This particular example shows that upon answering a question for a free coupon, the respondent is directed to a separate block to enter their name and e-mail address.

Adding survey logic

Survey logic enables the survey builder to dictate the flow of the survey dependent upon the selected choices of the respondent. Regardless of the specific logic option, the process follows the same procedure:

Select a question, then go to either the Question Options menu or the lower-third of the Question Panel and choose a logic method.

  • For Branching, click on the Survey Flow option in the the main menu at the top, then select Add a New Element Here.

1. Select object type (Question is the default)
2. Select which question
3. Select the answer
4. Select the condition
5. Save the logic

For additional conditions, click the button and repeat steps 1-5.


Randomization is the customizable process of mixing up answer choices, questions, or entire blocks within a survey. The process is completely customizable in that you can control how selections are randomized. You can choose which answers (or questions or blocks) to randomize with a few steps. Below are the steps for randomizing answer choices which is the most common method.

First, select Randomization… from the Question Options Menu of the selected question.

Then, select under Advanced Randomization, select Set Up Advanced Randomization.

In the next window, the left-hand column will display the answer choices for the selected question, the right-hand column displays the three fields in which answer choices can be randomized.

Randomize Choices will allow the survey builder to select as many answer choices as wanted to randomize with every new respondent.

Random Subset will allow the survey builder to select a subset of answer choices to be shown to each new respondent as well as being able to ensure even presentation of all selected answer choices.

Undisplayed Items would be used in only when question logic applies to a second-level question.

  • Example (from Qualtrics tutorial pages): Why have a choice that will never be displayed? 
    • This can happen when using the Carry Forward feature. With Carry Forward, the choices are brought in from a previous question.
      While a choice like “None of the above” may make sense in the original question, it may not be needed in the follow up question.

Click Save to lock in your choices.

Links to Additional Content

Qualtrics has expansive step-by-step instructions, articles, and videos on every aspect of their product. For more information, sign-in at the UO Qualtrics site then select Help and Tutorials (upper right corner of every page in the survey process) or click here.