Likert scale survey questions are essential in measuring a respondent’s opinion or attitude towards a given subject. Likert Scale is typically a five, seven, or nine point agreement scale used to measure respondents’ agreement with a variety of statements. Organizational psychologist Rensis Likert developed the Likert Scale in order to assess the level of agreement or disagreement of a symmetric agree-disagree scale. In general, a series of statements each designed to view a construct from a slightly different perspective are leveraged. The power of this technique is that it works across disciplines—it is just as applicable to a social science construct as it is a marketing one.
Likert scale is usually has five, seven or nine points, with five and seven points used most frequently. For example, typical multiple-choice options include Strongly Agree, Agree, No opinion, Disagree and Strongly Disagree. Adding “Somewhat” to both sides creates the sixth and seventh points. The scales are anchored by strongly agree and strongly disagree. There is some research that indicates having the agree side shown first could inflate the scores. This can be tested by alternating the anchor points within a survey wave and comparing scores in the data analysis stage.
Likert scale is designed to measure attitudes are multi-item. Basic research tells us that multiple-item measures of a construct are inherently more stable and subject to less random variability than single-item measures. How many items are enough? If you are creating a new scale then you should create as many items as possible and let subsequent analysis narrow the field of contenders. This can be done through brainstorming sessions, focus groups or a review of existing literature.
Unipolar scales are more contoured, allowing users to instead focus on the absence or presence of a single item. The scale measures the ordinal data, but most of the times unipolar scales generate more accurate answers. An example of a unipolar satisfaction scale is: not at all satisfied, slightly satisfied, moderately satisfied, very satisfied, and completely satisfied.
A unipolar Likert scale question type indicates a respondent to think of the presence or absence of a quality. For example, a common unipolar scale includes the following choices: not at all satisfied, slightly satisfied, moderately satisfied, very satisfied, and completely satisfied. It is arranged on a 5 point scale. A to E. Also, Unipolar question types lend themselves where there is a maximum amount of the attitude or none of it. For instance, let’s say, how helpful was the apple pie recipe? Very helpful, somewhat or not at all. From there, we can safely assume there is something in between–like “sort of” helpful.
A bipolar scale indicates a respondent to balance two different qualities, defining the relative proportion of those qualities. Where a unipolar scale has one “pole,” a bipolar scale has two polar opposites. For example, a common bipolar scale includes the following choices: completely dissatisfied, mostly dissatisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, somewhat satisfied, mostly satisfied, and completely satisfied. That is a scale with 0 in the middle (-3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3).
Let us consider the following statements :
The first two statements measure the customer’s perceptions about the business. Qualitative research such as focus groups or in-depth interviews can be useful in helping to generate a list of statements. The last three statements were centered on the individual and might be part of an opinion leader or early adopter scale. Just as easily you can create a scale with items touching upon political or social topics, religion, or other important issues of the day.
See an example of Bipolar Likert Scale questions in our Motivation And Buying Experience Survey Template.