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21 JUN 2012

Right scale selection for online survey

Are you wondering what scale you should use for your online survey? Below you will find few examples of different scales that may be used in your surveys.

Nominal scale - as the name implies, is simply some placing of data into categories, without any order or structure. For example in research activities a YES/NO scale is nominal. It has no order and there is no distance between YES and NO. Other examples of nominal scales are nationality, occupation, gender or place of residence.

Example

How did you learn about mysurveylab online surveys?

  • I participated in an online survey
  • from a friend
  • link from other web page
  • web advertisement
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Dichotomous scale - a scale where variable can have only two values, for example Yes / No, Male / Female. Dichotomous scale is special case of nominal scale.

Example

Gender :

  • Male
  • Female

Balanced scale - scale on which number of negative and positive answer choices is equal.

Example

How would you score team-work functionality in mysurveylab online surveys?

  • Very bad
  • Bad
  • Average
  • Good
  • Very good

NOTE. In most cases 5-point scale will give your respondents sufficient range of answer choices and what is important will be easy to understand by your respondents.

Unbalanced scale - scale on which number of negative and positive answer choices is different.

Example

How do you find mysurveylab online survey reports capabilities?

  • Bad
  • Average
  • Good
  • Very good
  • Excellent

Likert scale - usually 5 or 7-point scale used in marketing, market and sociological research. Scale name comes from its creator Rensis Likert. Respondent is presented a list of statements that are scored in a 5 or 7-point scale.

Example

mysurveylab online survey tool user interface is easy to use.

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

Semantic differential scale, Osgood scale - most often 5 or 7-point scale used to measure attitudes, opinions, occurring or objects. Scale poles (beginning and end) are marked with two opposite words, for example bad - good, cheap - expensive, ... Between those elements is placed scale that allows respondents to select intermediate options. Respondent select category that is closes to his evaluation.

Example

in your opinion Professional subscription plan in mysurveylab online survey tool is :

Cheap - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - Expensive

NOTE. When you will create a scale it is good to use „not applicable” or "neither agree nor disagree" answer choice. Thanks to this option respondent will be able to skip a question if it will be difficult for him to understand. This option also increases survey response rate and data quality. Random or accidental choices are less common.

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