Today’s tip: Randomize Poll Answer Options

Krista Stevens

When you’re conducting a poll, naturally you want to make sure that your results are sound—that no answer options have an unfair advantage over others in the poll. Typically, four-to-five answer options are optimum. For best results, randomize your answer options. Randomizing answer options means that the order of the answer options changes each time the webpage loads.

Randomizing answer options is especially useful when you have many answer options in a poll. (Greater than 10 options.) In long, unrandomized polls, options toward the bottom of the poll may accrue fewer votes simply because participants, faced with an overwhelming number of choices, chose not to scroll all the way to the bottom of the poll to consider each answer option before making a choice.

More choices = more time. It’s the law!

The more answer options you have in a poll, the more difficult it is for your participants to consider each answer option carefully before making a decision and casting their vote. More answer options take more time to consider. In fact Hick’s Law states that the time needed to make a decision increases with the number of options available. When participants are faced with many choices, they can experience decision fatigue, where the quality of their decisions deteriorate as the number of decisions they must make increases.

For best results, keep your polls short—make it as easy as possible for participants to make their choice and cast their vote. To randomize your poll answer options, hover over the title of your poll in your dashboard and click on Edit:

Next, on the poll editing screen, just beneath the answer options, select the checkbox next to randomize answer order:

Finally, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the poll editing screen and click on the blue Update Poll button for your changes to take effect:

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