Particular criteria do not work all the time

Hi there,

We have a question concerning criteria in Ethica. Hopefully someone can help us out.

In our study (#3242), follow-up questions are programmed to appear when a certain answer is given. If Q1 is answered with ‘yes’ (=1), Q2 appears.

Q3 and Q4 will appear if Q1=1, independent of the answer on Q2. However, from Q5 on, the appearance of questions is dependent on the answer on Q2. If Q1=1 and Q2=2, Q3, Q4, Q5 and Q6 will appear. If Q1=1 and Q2=3, Q3, Q4, Q5, Q6, Q7 and Q8 will appear, etc.

Q1 [single answer: yes(1)/no(2)]

Q2 [number], criteria: Q1==1

Q3 [text], criteria: Q1==1
Q4 [single answer], criteria: Q1==1

Q5 [text], criteria: Q2>1
Q6 [single answer], criteria: Q2>1

Q7 [text], criteria: Q2>2
Q8 [single answer], criteria: Q2>2

In the online preview this works perfectly. In the app it sometimes does as well. However at other times, Q5 and Q6 appear in the app, even though Q1=2. Since Q1 needs to be 1 for Q2 to appear, and Q2 needs to be 2 or higher for Q5 and Q6 to appear, we do not understand how this happens. Important to note is that Q3 and Q4 do not appear when this happens.

Does anyone know why this happens with these particular questions? Could you maybe help us with how can we solve this?

Thank you in advance.

Dear @kimberlyvelthuis

The solution for the problem is to change the criterion for Q5 and Q6 to “Q1==1 AND Q2>1” and for Q7 and Q8 to “Q1==1 AND Q2>2”; which roughly has the same meaning as “If Q2 has appeared in this current session and its value is greater than [something]”. Please note that this solution needs Q1 to be a mandatory question which always has an answer; otherwise, you can never make sure if Q2 is responded in that very session. You may see the importance of this note when you read the next paragraph.

As you might have guessed, the issue is originated because of the absence of Q2 in a particular survey responding session and it allows Q2 responses from past sessions interfere with the evaluation of the criterion. The current behavior of our criteria system is to look for Qn in all of the past and the ongoing sessions and choose the latest one for evaluating a criteria that evolves Qn.


Dear @sepehr , thank you very much for your reply - this was very helpful.