Customize Your Search

Variable Preference Level

When you have a variable list displayed, you will see a "filter by" drop-down menu, with options: "Primary Variables," "Primary and Secondary Variables," and "All Variables"

  1. Primary variables: the most important, generally include all created and event-history variables, all roster variables, and respondents' responses to survey questions that are not superseded by better information in a roster or created variable.
  2. Secondary variables: questions asked in the interview that are superseded by created or roster variables. While these questions might be useful for very detailed research about a narrow topic, they won't be needed by most researchers.
  3. Tertiary variables: generally machine check items. These are included in the data to enable researchers to follow the flow of the interview, but in most cases they should not be used as input variables in research. These are only available when the "All Variables" Variable Preference Level is selected.

In the Investigator, the default setting is "Primary Variables." We recommend starting your search with the primary variables.

Variable Display Options

As shown on the screen below, above the variable list, on the left, is a tab called "Options". Click on this tab to open or close the option menu. The opened option menu is located above the variable list as shown on the screen below. In the option menu, you can select the variable characteristics you want displayed in the variable list by checking or unchecking each option.

Screenshot showing customizable options on Variable Search tab

By default, the following options are checked:

  1. Show Reference Number Column
  2. Show Question Name Column
  3. Show Variable Title Column
  4. Show Year Column
  5. Compress all grouped rows

Other Options:

Note: By default the variables are listed in the order of RNUM. You can choose any of the variable characteristics to sort the listed variables--simply click the column title of that item.