Multiple Responses: Should You Allow Them?

What are Multiple Responses?

In this case ‘multiple responses’ does not refer to multiple choice questions. Instead, this concerns the ability to submit more than one response a single device (PC, Laptop, Tablet, Phone). You may wonder why this is even in question, but there are both pros and cons to enabling this feature.

How It Works?

Kwiksurvey’s software prevents multiple responses by detecting cookies stored in respondent’s devices, which appear once they have submitted a response. If they attempted to respond again from the same device, they would be informed that they’ve already completed the survey.

So, Why Enable Multiple Responses?

There’s a very good reason that you may want to do this, which pertains to cases where devices are shared. In spaces such as offices, libraries, computer labs, and classrooms, it is more than likely that multiple people will be using the same device at different times

If the multiple responses feature has been disabled, it becomes a first-come first-served scenario. This restricts participant access to your project and means your results/ respondent pool will be significantly narrowed.

I.e: Restricting access to your project may affect scope of your results, or the size of your respondent population.

Additionally, you may want to take advantage of the feature yourself. If you’ve collected paper responses, you’ll need to input that data into your survey at some point.

The easiest way to do this would be to access your project on your own device, and mirror each respondent’s answer choices. This would require you to enable multiple responses, as you’d be filling out your form for each paper respondent.

Why Disable Multiple Responses

By allowing the same device to submit multiple responses, a single respondent can submit more than one response. Although this is not innately ominous, allowing these multiple, or even duplicate, responses may very well taint your results.

In cases where a single respondent submits two or more differing (therefore, false) responses, your results are no longer fully representative of your target population. If they were to submit duplicate responses, then a single respondent would have more weight than others in your results.

I.e: By allowing multiple/duplicate responses, you run the risk of your results being unrepresentative or unfairly weighted towards a single respondent’s experiences.

To Enable or not to Enable

There is an element of risk to enabling or disabling this feature, but there are also counter-arguments to both. Regardless of whether you allow more than one response from a single device, respondents can still complete your surveys more than once if they have access to multiple devices.

The only most likely reason for which a participant would fill out your form numerous times would be because some incentive or reward is up for grabs, and they want to increase their chance of winning. Alternatively, it may be that the respondent is being intentionally malicious to skew your results, but this is much less probable.

Considering that a majority of people will have access to multiple devices, you can be less concerned about participant alienation. Whether respondents access your survey through their smartphone or tablet, entering to the digital landscape has never been so easy.

Ensuring the integrity of your results is the most important aspect of data collection. So, in light of all of the above, your decision should be based on which option incurs less risk for your project. If you aren’t offering a possible prize or incentive for the completion of your form, then there will be less risk dishonest/false responses.

How to Disable Multiple Responses with Kwiksurveys

By default, in surveys, quizzes and forms, respondents will be able to complete your project multiple times. To disable this feature, follow the steps below:

  1. Open a project
  2. Enter the Setting Menu in the Build section of that project
  3. Toggle the switch under ‘Prevent Duplicate Responses’

A respondent’s device will now only be able to submit one response to your project. See our documentation for disabling duplicate responses.

If you need any more help with creating surveys, see our tips on survey design.

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