Multiple Responses: Should You Allow Them?

What are multiple responses?

In this case ‘multiple responses’ does not refer to multiple choice questions. It concerns the ability to submit more than one response using a single device (PC, Laptop, Tablet, Phone).

When creating a survey with Shout, we call these Duplicate Responses.

Pros of allowing duplicate responses

There’s a good reason that you may want to do this. Where devices are shared (in spaces such as offices and classrooms), it is more than likely that multiple people will be using the same device at different times.

If you don’t allow multiple responses, it becomes a first-come first-serve scenario. This restricts access to your project and means your results/ respondent pool will shrink.


By allowing the same device to submit more than one response can result have to negative outcomes.

  • A respondent submits the same set of responses repeatedly. Giving their opinion too much weight in your results.
  • They submit a different set of results each time, skewing your data altogether.

Should you allow multiple responses?

Ensuring the integrity of your results is the most important aspect of data collection. So, your decision should be based on which option incurs less risk for your project.

If you’re running a customer satisfaction survey on a kiosk in-store, then you’ll need to allow that device to submit more than once response.

But if you’re emailing your survey, your contact can respond via mobile. Meaning, your response rate shouldn’t be affected.

How it works with Shout

We prevent multiple responses by storing the survey ID on the respondent’s device when they’ve submitted a response.

If they attempt to respond again from the same device, they would be informed that they’ve already completed the survey.

How to disable multiple responses

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

  1. Open a Survey
  2. Click ‘Settings’ in the sidebar
  3. Toggle the switch under ‘Prevent Duplicate Responses’

A respondent’s device will now only be able to submit one response to your project.

We offer many advanced survey features like this on Shout, and we’re always open to your recommendations for more.

If you need any more help with creating surveys, take a look at these best practices for survey design.