Advanced Tutorial - Randomize Responses

Randomizing the order of the responses to a question is often done to overcome the "first response bias" that occurs because respondents are more likely to choose the first response presented to them. By randomizing the responses, you can lower the effect this has on your data collection. Additionally, psychologists who study response behavior have found that randomizing the response order can cause people to re-read the question more carefully and give a more thoughtful response.

Whether you should use this feature depends on the type of question you are asking. It is inappropriate to randomize the responses on a satisfaction rating survey where the responses range from Very Satisfied to Very Unsatisfied. This use would confuse the people taking the survey. Randomizing the response order should be used on questions where the responses don't have any necessary order.

In EZSurvey, you can set up randomization on web surveys using the compiled web scripts (when publishing, both the "Windows servers using CGI..." and "UNIX servers using compiled CGI..." options will work with randomizing).


  1. Randomizing responses is enabled through the Advanced options for a particular question, accessed by right-clicking on the question and choosing Advanced options.

  2. On the Validation tab select the check box for Randomize response order.