As a business owner or marketer, you need adequate tools to see consistent growth. And a survey is one of the best and quickest methods to do that. A variety of question formats are available to you when designing a survey, including multiple-choice, drop-down, and free-form text boxes.
Yet, a Likert Scale question is the most excellent option to gauge participant’s actions and perspectives. It’s the most crucial choice because the Likert Scale was designed to collect and rank people’s likelihood or agreement regarding the given statement.
You can use the Likert scale question to learn how your target market truly feels about your product and organization, and you can use an internal survey to increase staff enthusiasm. Discover what makes a good Likert scale question and include them in your surveys to get the most accurate responses.
What Is a Likert Scale?
A Likert scale inquiry consists of a five- or seven-point Scale. To help the survey’s creator receive a complete picture of respondent’s feelings, the Scale runs from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree.” The neutral middle ground, “neither agree nor disagree,” is a standard feature of all Likert scales. Rensis Likert, a social psychologist, created it in 1932.
We can all agree that no single question determines a person’s political leanings. It’s difficult to generalize about someone’s political leanings, as someone liberal on healthcare issues may be conservative on issues like foreign aid.
Hence, a rating scale is used to determine how much people agree or disagree with specific claims regarding political policy. Then, a person’s degree of liberalism or conservatism can be more accurately gauged by averaging or combining their responses.
The survey’s conclusion is a Likert scale. Attitudes can be measured using this method, which consists of a sequence of statements and many response options. A Likert scale question is one with five or seven possible answers. All possible levels of agreement, from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree, are provided so that the survey’s creator may get a complete picture of respondents’ thoughts. There is a neutral option on every Likert scale question for respondents who are unsure how they feel about the topic.
Categories of Likert Scales
It has become common practice for researchers to use the Likert Scale when surveying customers or employees to gauge their level of satisfaction. There are two broad categories into which this Scale can be placed:
1. Even Likert Scale
Researchers often employ Even Likert scales, which don’t have a neutral response option, to gather extreme opinions.
- 4-Point Likert Scale for Importance: This sort of Likert Scale allows researchers to include four extreme possibilities without a middle option. Here, a Likert Scale with four options represents the varying degrees of significance.
- 8-Point likelihood of a recommendation: This is rated on a scale similar to the 4-point Likert Scale previously described, except that this Scale offers eight alternatives instead of four.
2. Odd Likert Scale
Researchers employ the peculiar Likert Scale so respondents can choose an agnostic response.
- Researchers utilize this odd 5-point Likert scale inquiry to collect information on a topic by offering a neutral answer option for respondents to use if they do not choose to respond from the extreme choices in the study design.
- A question asked on a 5-point Likert scale can be expanded to a 7-point Likert scale by including two additional answers at the Scale’s extremes.
- A 9-point Likert scale is possible by adding two more answer choices to a question designed for a 7-point scale.
Likert Scale Characteristics
The 5-point Likert Scale was developed in 1932 and has since become the most used form of the Scale. Participants are asked to rate their level of agreement, acceptance, or belief on a spectrum of topics ranging from broad to narrow on these scales. Essential features of the Likert Scale include:
- Related answers. Things should be easily tied to the sentence’s replies, regardless of whether the relationship between the object and conviction is apparent.
- Scale type. Questions must always offer a range of answers, from extremely broad to extremely narrow, with a gradation in between.
- Number of answer options. It’s worth noting that while 5-item Likert scales are the most frequent, using more items typically leads to more reliable results.
- Increasing reliability of the Scale. Researchers frequently use a seven-point scale, created by adding “very” to the extremes of a five-point scale. The seven-point Scale hits the upper limits of the Scale’s dependability.
- Using wide scales. Generally, it is preferable to use a scale with as many available points as possible, as Likert and others advocate. Answers can be consolidated into manageable chunks for analysis as necessary.
- Lack of a neutral option. Scales are often reduced to an even number of categories (typically four) to remove the “neutral” option from a “forced choice” survey scale.
- Intrinsic variable. The primary Likert record indicates that there may be an inherent variable whose value characterizes the responses or attitudes of respondents, and this variable is, at best, the interval level.
Practical Tips To Keep In Mind While Creating Likert Scales
- Generally, the wider the ladder, the better for Likert and other scales. Categorizing responses into smaller subsets is always possible for a more precise examination.
- Decide on a scale: things should always offer a choice between two poles and a third, intermediate answer option that serves as a graduation between the poles.
- Clarity requires specificity. The questions must be lucid and straightforward. The more specific the information, the more valuable it will be because the respondents were as honest as possible.
- For instance, instead of asking, “Do you like our products?” it is preferable to ask, “Are you satisfied with the quality of our products?” alternatively “Do you think our products are reasonably priced?”
- Take your time with choices. Respondents are likelier to select an option at random if there are fewer choices on the Likert Scale (we recommend having fewer than 7).
- Cover all the bases: The whole range of responses and a midpoint should be included in your Likert Scale. For example, if you only offer the options “Extremely satisfied” and “Fairly content,” dissatisfied respondents won’t be able to respond honestly since they won’t know which option to pick.
- Use words rather than numbers: Confusing and unreliable data can result from using numbered scales like 1–5. Respondents may be confused about which numbers represent positive and negative responses. Use words to describe your scale options rather than numbers.
- Permanently mark the halfway point.
- Provide equitable response options.
- Make sure the labels are understandable and to the point.
Likert scales may be the most effective alternative for rapidly and cheaply gauging people’s opinions and pleasure. However, like with any research method, one should be aware of the potential drawbacks of utilizing scales and work to mitigate them with careful language and a comprehensive set of possibilities.