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Likert scale

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

The Likert scale is a commonly used survey tool that requests an assessment of some variable from among a range of potential responses. 

A Likeart scale is bipolar, meaning it provides options ranging between two potential extreme positions. To assess end user acceptance of a software program, for example, as in the figure below, a Likeart scale might provide a series of statements and five responses ranging from "I strongly agree" to "I strongly disagree." 

Likeart scale assessing end user acceptance of software:

likert scale

Likert scales with five or ten response choices are common, although the number can vary. Recent studies have suggested that scales employing either seven or nine options produce the most informative surveys because common tendencies to select central responses can skew the results. 

Psychologist Rensis Likert (pronounced "lick-urt") created the scale in 1932 for his doctoral thesis. Likert’s original scale rated respondents’ beliefs, attitudes, and feelings towards a number of international issues. 

This was last updated in October 2014

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I often wonder if these Likert scale surveys are very helpful, since for me, personally, I find most of my answers hit the middle of the road. It's rare for me to be totally enthused, but it's even more rare for me to be rapidly anti anything. Does "meh" really tell us very much?
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Hi Mic,

I to have a same issue, even if the person is extremely happy he never goes for 5 (very rare it might have selected). I am wondering just in case you found any better way than this?
Regards,
Dr. Ram Kishore,

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