…are the meaning of life:
Note: A glossary is included near the end of this handout defining many of the terms used throughout this report.
CPSC 681 – Topic Report
Likert Scale \lickurt\, n.
A psychometric response scale primarily used in questionnaires to obtain participant’s preferences or degree of agreement with a statement or set of statements. Likert scales are a non‐comparative scaling technique and are unidimensional (only measure a single trait) in nature. Respondents are asked to indicate their level of agreement with a given statement by way of an ordinal scale.
Variations: Most commonly seen as a 5‐point scale ranging from “Strongly Disagree” on one end to
“Strongly Agree” on the other with “Neither Agree nor Disagree” in the middle; however, some practitioners advocate the use of 7 and 9‐point scales which add additional granularity. Sometimes a 4‐point (or other even‐numbered) scale is used to produce an ipsative (forced choice) measure where no indifferent option is available. Each level on the scale is assigned a numeric value or coding, usually starting at 1 and incremented by one for each level. For example:
Figure 1. Sample scale used in Likert scale questions
Named after Dr. Rensis Likert, a sociologist at the University of Michigan, who developed the technique. His original report entitled “A Technique for the Measurement of Attitudes” was published in the Archives of Psychology in 1932. His goal was to develop a means of measuring psychological attitudes in a “scientific” way. Specifically, he sought a method that would produce attitude measures that could reasonably be interpreted as measurements on a proper metric scale, in the same sense that we consider grams or degrees Celsius true measurement scales (Uebersax, 2006).