18 JUN 2012

Likert scale in surveys and market research

Likert scale has been introduced to survey research in 1930. Scale name comes from Rensis Likert (1903 - 1981), American psychologist, educator and sociologist.

Likert scale is bipolar scale with interval-levels that measure respondent attitudes and opinions. "Bipolar" means that scale has two opposite poles, on each end of the scale one will find opposite opinions and attitudes. "Interval-level" means that points on the scale are ordered and the length between the points is equal (equidistant).

Most popular version of Likert scale is 5-point scale.

Question example :

Do you agree that mysurveylab online survey tool has a user friendly interface?

  1. Strongly disagree
  2. Rather disagree
  3. Neither agree nor disagree
  4. Rather agree
  5. Strongly agree

5-point Likert scale can have so called central tendency bias. People generally tend to select average points to radical ones (very high or very low). The consequence of this is big number of answers with average (neutral) selections.

Other example of Likert scale is 7-point scale. 

Question example :

Do you agree that mysurveylab allows users to create surveys easily?

  1. Strongly disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Rather disagree
  4. Neither agree nor disagree
  5. Rather agree
  6. Agree
  7. Strongly agree

7-point Likert scale was introduced to increase accuracy of the measurement, thanks to introduction of two additional answer choices on each pole of the scale.

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