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Dynamic Process Tracing Environment User Discussion


Back Button in Questionnaires; New Delimiter for Multiple Answer Questions; Changes in Social Experiments

Version 3.3.0 of the DPTE Player and Researcher Interface were recently deployed, following an earlier update (3.2.5) detailed below.


BACK Button

This update includes a potentially valuable new feature: the ability to include a “back” button on a Questionnaire. It functions just as you’d expect a “back” button to function, that is, it goes back one Question — unless a Condition tells it otherwise, just like the “next” button. Conditions are fully enabled in “back” mode as well.

When a Subject goes “back” the Subject’s answer to that Question is selected/shown, and can be modified. This only applies within a Questionnaire run — if the same Questionnaire (with the exact same name) is presented again later in an Experiment, no previous filled in answers are shown, and generally earlier answers are lost. So when you want to deploy the same questionnaire mutliple times, you need to duplicate it and name it appropriately. This didn’t change — the only difference with Back mode is, if a Subject answers a Question, then goes “back” to that Question, the response is still there.

The Researcher can define the text of the “back” button in the Experiment Settings, in the section with all the other labels.

Note: if a Subject answers (for example) 10 questions, and then answers Question 11 and hits the “back” button, she will return to Question 10 and see that answer (and can change it). When she goes forward to Question 11 (again) she will see the answer she had already given for Question 11.

However, if a subject answers 10 questions, then stares at Question 11 and doesn’t answer it, but hits “back”, she will not get the “warning” that would appear when not answering a question and going forward. Since she will have to encounter that question again, the system does not require her to provide an answer if she goes “back” from there.


Delimiter Change for Multiple Answer Data

In another minor but important change, the delimiter character for Multiple Answer recording in the subject dataset has changed from a comma to a trio of characters, pipe-colon-pipe, that is,  |:|

This way commas (or pipes) in individual answers won’t conflict with the delimiter. If you are using Multiple Answers and then scanning the subjhect data file for the results, please realize that you will now see this new delimiter between answers, rather than simply a comma.


Social Experiment Update; Making a “shared” item more available during the run of an experiment

We have added a “Shares increase shows” feature, which can optionally increase the number of times a Flow Item is displayed based on how many times it has been Shared (Button #1 must be used as the “share” button for this feature to work).  The options for setup are in the Settings / Social Experiment Options.

There is a checkbox to enable (“click count of Social Button #1 increases Flow Item # of shows”) and a “Divisor” which is used to determine the relation of clicks to additional shows (simply divides and rounds up, so the first Share always adds a “show”). To be eligible, the Flow Item must be Shareable (so it has buttons) and the Experiment must be a Social Experiment.


As always, let us know if you find any problems.



  1. Paul Dosch May 13, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    I’m new to blog and just did a quick overview of DPTE as I think it could work very well for my political science dissertation.
    Perhaps I missed it, but wondering how data is exported to stat software for analysis, particularly Qualtrics.

    • dynamicprocesstracing June 1, 2018 at 10:07 am

      Paul – sorry for the delay in responding. DPTE generates a series of file that are in .csv format, and can thus be imported into any statistics program that reads .csv files. There are details in the online documentation about the files themselves, beginning on page 33. https://dpte.polisci.uiowa.edu/dpte/assets/docs/DPTE_Help_Manual.pdf

      The datasets are a bit complicated and can take some work to process, but the scope of the data is huge, giving you access to a wide range of variables about what happened during the study.

      Hope this helps.

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