The following rules are applied during the first meta data import to a project.

  • Rule A: Questions with identical answer texts and answer values will share an Answer Block. (see example 1)
  • Rule B: Questions with different numbers of answer alternatives will share an Answer Block if:
    all answer alternatives in the questions with fewest alternatives are present (identical answer value and text) in the question with more answer alternatives (see example 2). If all questions have at least 3 answer alternatives (see example 3 and 4)
  • Rule C: The sort order of the answer alternatives will not affect the detection of the unique Answer Blocks. The detection is based on the answer value and the answer text (see example 5)
  • Rule D: The detection of same answer value and answer text is not case sensitive (see example 6)
  • Rule E: A question that doesn’t use all answer alternatives in a created Answer Block will have the needed answer alternatives inactivated by the system during the import. (see example 2)



Example 1: When importing the 2 questions below, they will share an Answer Block due to rule A.

Q1

  1. Disagree
  2. Agree

Q2

  1. Disagree
  2. Agree



Example 2: When importing the 2 questions below, they will share an Answer Block due to rule B1. The answer block will consist of all 5 unique answer alternatives. To get correct answers when reporting Q1 the answer value 5 will be deactivated from question Q1 automatically during the import process due to rule E, see image 2 below.

Q1

  1. Saab
  2. Volvo
  3. Opel
  4. BMW

Q2

  1. Saab
  2. Volvo
  3. Opel
  4. BMW
  5. Don’t know



Example 3: When importing the 2 questions below, they will not share an Answer Block due to rule B2 (both questions must have minimum 3 answers).

Q1

  1. Disagree
  2. Agree

Q2

  1. Disagree
  2. Agree
  3. Don’t know



Example 4: When importing the 2 questions below, they will not share an Answer Block due to rule B1. Answer value 5 creates a conflict as same value but with a different text is being used 2 Answer Blocks will be created.

Q1

  1. Saab
  2. Volvo
  3. Opel
  4. BMW

Q2

  1. Saab
  2. Volvo
  3. Opel
  4. BMW
  5. Don’t know



Example 5: When importing the 2 questions below, they will share answer block due to rule C.

Q1

  1. Saab
  2. Volvo
  3. Opel
  4. BMW
  5. Other

Q2

       3. Opel

       1. Saab

       4. BMW

       2. Volvo

       5. Other

Note: the sort order is the same in all single questions. Since the order cannot be set in SPSS, it depends on the answer value.



Example 6: When importing the 2 questions below, they will share answer block due to rule D.

Q1

  1. Saab
  2. Volvo
  3. Opel
  4. BMW

Q2

  1. saab
  2. volvo
  3. opel
  4. BMW


Continue here to read how answer blocks behave when data is added.