Angular UI Select2, why does ng-model get set as JSON string?

All we need is an easy explanation of the problem, so here it is.

I’m using angular-ui’s select2 for a fairly simple dropdown. It’s backed by a static array of data sitting on my controller’s scope. In my controller I have a function that gets called on ng-change of the dropdown so that I can perform some actions when the value changes.

However, what I’m finding is that the ng-model’s property gets set as a JSON string rather than an actual javascript object, which makes it impossible to use dot notation to grab properties off of that model.

Here’s the function that handles the value of the dropdown getting changed:

$scope.roleTypeChanged = function() {
  console.log('selectedType is: ', $scope.adminModel.selectedType);

  // this ends up being undefined because $scope.adminModel.selectedType is a 
  // JSON string, rather than a js object:
  console.log('selectedType.typeCode is: ', $scope.adminModel.selectedType.typeCode);

Here’s a plunker of my full example:

I’ve never seen a property that’s bound to ng-model do this before, however I’m also fairly new to Angular so it’s likely that I’m just doing something wrong here. I can certainly do something like $.parseJSON() to convert the JSON string back to an object, but I’d rather not unless I have to.
Thanks for any help!

How to solve :

I know you bored from this bug, So we are here to help you! Take a deep breath and look at the explanation of your problem. We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first method because it is tested & true method that will 100% work for you.

Method 1

You need to use ng-options on your select if you want to have object values. Actually creating the options yourself using an ng-repeat will only allow you to have string values for the various options:

<select ui-select2
    data-placeholder="Select Role Type" ng-options="type.displayName for type in adminModel.roleTypes">
  <option value=""></option>

Method 2

Thanks Karl!
I have struggled a day with this

as a note for others having similar problems as I did,
when using an ng-model not accessible and defined in the controller/directive I solved it like this.

//country.Model has Code and Name nodes

* HTML *

name="country" data-ng-model="country.Model"  
    data-ng-change="countryChanged(country.Model)"  <!--only for test, log to console-->
    data-ng-options="country as CodeAndName(country) for country in countries"
    data-placeholder="{{placeholderText(country.Model, '- - Select Country - -')}}" >
    <option value=""></option>

* JS *

 function controller($scope, $q, $location, $routeParams) {

    $scope.countryChanged = function(item) { // for test                
      console.log('selectedType is: ', item);

    //returns the item or the text if no item is selected
    $scope.placeholderText = function (item, text){ 
        if (item == undefined)
            return text;
        return $scope.CodeAndName(item);

    // returns a string for code and name of the item, used to set the placeholder text
    $scope.CodeAndName = function (item) { 
        if (item == undefined)
            return '';
        return item.Code + ' - ' + item.Name;

Note: Use and implement method 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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