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What is Survey Skip Logic?

Posted: May 14, 2015

Basic Example of Survey Skip Logic

Let's assume the following survey about Horses.  The questions below are numbered 1-5 along with the choices from a-b

  1. What activities do you use horses for
    1. Work
    2. Transportation
    3. Hunting
    4. Other
  2. What state do you live in?
    1. California
    2. Montana
  3. Are you aware of California Penal Code 7e45.b relating to the treatment of horses in places of employment?
    1. Yes
    2. No
  4. Where do you typically keep your horse?
    1. Personal Stable
    2. Private Stable
    3. Don't own a horse
  5. Would you be interested in hearing about Horse Stable offers?
    1.  Yes
    2. No

The survey above has two different points where we can insert Skip Logic.  The first is before question 3 and the second is before question 5.  In the next section we will go over how skip logic works so we can see it in action.

Survey Skip Logic

Survey Skip Logic - Matched Criteria Exists

Let's assume question 3 first.  This is a relatively specialized question that really only needs to apply to people residing in California and who use their horse for employment.  If you answered "Work" for question 1 and answered "California" for question 2 then we will display question 3 to you.  Otherwise we will go ahead and skip the question and not display it.  That is an example of skipping a question unless a matched criteria exists.

Survey Skip Logic - Matched Criteria Missing

No let's examine question 5.  This question does not need to be shown if you do not own your own horse.  If you selected "Don't own a horse" in question 4 then we can choose to skip question 5 as it does not apply to you.

Why use Survey Skip Logic

Now that we know how it works - we want to understand why we should (or should not use it).  The benefits to skip logic is that it can greatly reduce your question bank for your survey and thus end the survey faster for users.  You want to use it when the question to be skipped either does not apply to the user or would greatly taint the results if the user were to participate. You should not use skip logic if there is still value to be gathered out of the user for the particular question.  A lot of survey tools have filters that can be used after the data has been aggregated.  Include questions that you can gain value from but filter the results in your reporting when you want specific nitty gritty details.


Survey Skip Logic is easy to use and can greatly help you achieve accurate results.  Use it when the question has no relation to the user or the users answer would taint your results.  Do not use however if even a small bit of value can be derived from the answer as it is very easy to filter afterwards if needed.

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