How to Compute Top 2 Box Scores

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A 'top 2 box' score is the total of the top two categories in a table. For example, in a five-point scale measuring brand attitude as per the example below, the top 2 box score is the sum of the proportion to "Like" and to "Love". The same would apply to any scale, such as an agreement scale or a numeric scale (eg: 1-10).


You can create 'Top 2 box' scores in Q in a number of ways, as outlined below. The same logic is applicable when creating 'top box' or 'bottom box' involving any number of categories (eg: 'bottom 3 box').

Merging/creating a NET on a table

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You can create a 'top 2 box' score by either merging categories or creating a NET directly on a table. Merging will replace the existing two categories into the 'top 2 box' category. Creating a NET will create a category in addition to the top 2 categories.

To merge categories, simply drag one category onto the other. To rename it (eg: as 'top 2 box') right-click to select Rename in the Table Context Menu. You can also merge by selecting the top 2 categories on the table (using Shift or Ctrl) and then right-click to select Merge.

Merge top 2 box.PNG

To create a NET, select the top 2 box categories on a table (using Shift or Ctrl) and then right-click to select Create NET.

Either option above will change how the question is displayed everywhere in the project. For that reason, you may like to duplicate the question before creating the 'top 2 box'. You can always revert a question to its original form to remove any merging or NETs created.

Changing the question type

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The Pick Any Question Type can turn a question into a 'top 2 box' only version. The image at the top of the page depicts a Pick One - Multi question (on the left) being transformed into a Pick Any 'top 2 box' question (on the right). In a Pick Any question, categories are either counted as 'in' or 'out', with only the 'in' proportion being displayed. This is most commonly applied to Pick One - Multi and Number - Multi questions, but you can also do this for single variable questions, such as Number questions.

To change the question type, right-click on the table containing the question, find the question in the Table Context Menu, then go to Restructure data, and change the question type to Multiple categories (Pick Any).

Restructure data.PNG

In the subsequent Value Attributes dialogue box, toggle on only the 'top 2' categories in the Count This Value (CHECK) column (yellow column). Then push OK.

Value attributes t2b.PNG

(Note: These steps are equivalent to changing the question type in the Variables and Questions tab).

This will change the question everywhere in the project. For that reason, you may like to duplicate the question first.

Automation options that are available

There are QScripts available to automate the process of creating 'top 2 box' categories.

For creating new variables which yield the top 2 box scores, see Create New Variables - Top 2 Category Variable(s) (Top 2 Boxes). There are similar options available for bottom 2 boxes, top 3 boxes, etc. These are equivalent to copying the question and changing the Question Type to Pick Any.

For modifying existing data so that top box scores are added as NETs, see Modify Data - Add Top K Category NETs (Top K Boxes).

Additional options for automatically making NETs are described at Automatically Merging Categories and Creating NETs.