Likert Scale Questions

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Likert Scale Questions

Using CX metrics to measure customer experience

When voters go to the polls, it is not easy to assess what drives their voting behavior. Do voters consider all issues relating to which way they are going to cast their vote in equal measures? What do they feel strongly about, and what issues matter little or not at all?

Surveys carried out can indicate which way the vote will go but don’t always explain results on Election Day. Voters can be asked to rate issues in order of importance, however, this doesn’t always show if one issue is more important than another to the voter.

This is just one example where the use of Likert scale questions can illuminate the detail behind people’s opinions, beliefs and attitudes.

What is a Likert scale?

A Likert scale is an orderly scale from which respondents choose the option that best supports their opinion on a specific topic. A form of closed question, and one of the most widely used tools in researching popular opinion, Likert Scale questions use psychometric testing to measure beliefs, attitudes, opinions or other subjective measures.

A particular type of ranking question, similar in some ways to the semantic differential scale, Likert scales typically include various items measuring a specific construct or topic, and the responses are aggregated to derive an overall score that reflects the participant’s level of agreement or disagreement with the statement or question.

In practice, Likert scale questions use statements and a respondent then indicates how much they agree or disagree with that statement.

As well as measuring agreement or disagreement with a statement, Likert scales are also commonly used to capture responses such as frequency (e.g. how often the respondent takes an action, attends a venue, or experiences a particular occurrence), or their level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction (with an outcome, a product or service, or some other set of conditions).

Likert scales can number between 3 and 10 options, with 5-point and 7-point scales being among the more commonly used approaches, with the highest and lowest rating options being “strongly agree” and “strongly disagree,” respectively.

Likert scale question examples are given below using 3-point, 4-point, 5-point, 6-point, 7-point and 9-point scales.

Likert scale advantages and disadvantages

There are advantages and disadvantages to every type of research, and they are quite clear with this question type.

Pros

The main advantage of Likert Scale questions is that they use a universal method of collecting data, which means it is easy to understand them. Working with quantitative data, it is easy to draw conclusions, reports, results and graphs from the responses. Furthermore, because Likert Scale questions use a scale, people are not forced to express an either-or opinion, rather allowing them to be neutral should they so choose. Once all responses have been received, it is very easy to analyze them. Last but not least, it is very quick and easy to run this type of survey and it can be sent out through all modes of communication, including text messages.

Cons

However, one disadvantage of using Likert Scales can be that respondents either lean towards choosing the most extreme option or express no opinion at all. This can lead to results being clustered around the middle or at each end of the scale, making it hard to distinguish between strong and weakly held opinions, implying the space between each possibility is equidistant, which is not true in real life. As a result, a true attitude is not actually measured. Furthermore, you must realize that your previous questions will have influenced responses to any further survey questions that have been asked. People also have a tendency to automatically avoid “extremes”, therefore answering the way they think they are expected to, rather than providing real honesty.

However, the use of Likert scale in online survey can be viewed as positive overall, particularly if you understand the limitations it presents. By knowing that it is by no means a perfect tool, you are able to read data less as set in stone but more as a generalized picture of a certain issue, which can be all you need for improvement.

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Likert scale examples

Likert scales come in a number of different styles, either in terms of the number of options provided to respondents (3-scale, 6-scale, 9-scale etc), or the manner in which beliefs, attitudes or opinions are expressed (e.g. frequency, satisfaction levels, degree of agreement with a statement).

The two most commonly used Likert scale options are 5-point and 7-point:

5-point Likert scale examples

How satisfied are you with the quality of customer service you received from the company?

  1. Very satisfied
  2. Satisfied
  3. Neutral
  4. Dissatisfied
  5. Very dissatisfied

To what extent do you agree with the following statement: “I feel safe in my neighborhood.”

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

How likely are you to recommend this restaurant to a friend?

  1. Very likely
  2. Somewhat likely
  3. Neutral
  4. Somewhat unlikely
  5. Very unlikely

7-point Likert scale examples

How often do you feel stressed at work?

  1. Extremely often
  2. Very often
  3. Often
  4. Sometimes
  5. Occasionally
  6. Rarely
  7. Never

To what extent do you agree with the following statement: “I believe that the company’s policies are fair and just.”

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

How satisfied are you with the amount of vacation time you receive from your employer?

  1. Extremely satisfied
  2. Very satisfied
  3. Moderately satisfied
  4. Slightly satisfied
  5. Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
  6. Slightly dissatisfied
  7. Moderately dissatisfied
  8. Very dissatisfied
  9. Extremely dissatisfied

Likert questions can also come in ranges of just 3-point and 4-point scales:

3-point Likert scale examples

To what extent do you agree with the following statement: “I feel confident in my ability to complete my work effectively.”

  1. Agree
  2. Neutral
  3. Disagree

How often do you exercise per week?

  1. Regularly
  2. Occasionally
  3. Rarely

To what extent do you agree with the following statement: “I enjoy spending time with my family.”

  1. Yes, very much
  2. Somewhat
  3. No, not really

4-point Likert scale examples

To what extent do you agree with the following statement: “I enjoy trying new things.”

  1. Strongly agree
  2. Somewhat agree
  3. Somewhat disagree
  4. Strongly disagree

How often do you use public transportation to commute to work or school?

  1. Very frequently
  2. Somewhat frequently
  3. Rarely
  4. Never

To what extent do you agree with the following statement: “I believe that technology has improved my quality of life.”

  1. Completely agree
  2. Somewhat agree
  3. Somewhat disagree
  4. Completely disagree

Among the longer Likert scale questions used in questionnaires are options using 6-point and even 9-point scales:

6-point Likert scale examples

How satisfied are you with the quality of customer service you receive from your mobile service provider?

  1. Extremely satisfied
  2. Very satisfied
  3. Moderately satisfied
  4. Moderately dissatisfied
  5. Very dissatisfied
  6. Extremely dissatisfied

To what extent do you agree with the following statement: “I believe that climate change is a significant threat to the planet.”

  1. Strongly agree
  2. Somewhat agree
  3. Slightly agree
  4. Slightly disagree
  5. Somewhat disagree
  6. Strongly disagree

How frequently do you eat fast food in a week?

  1. Daily
  2. Several times a week
  3. Once a week
  4. Rarely
  5. Once in a while
  6. Never

9-point Likert scale examples

How likely are you to recommend this product to a friend or family member?

  1. Extremely likely
  2. Very likely
  3. Moderately likely
  4. Somewhat likely
  5. Slightly likely
  6. Neither likely nor unlikely
  7. Slightly unlikely
  8. Somewhat unlikely
  9. Extremely unlikely

To what extent do you agree with the following statement: “I feel confident about my ability to achieve my goals.”

  1. Strongly agree
  2. Moderately agree
  3. Slightly agree
  4. Neither agree nor disagree
  5. Slightly disagree
  6. Moderately disagree
  7. Strongly disagree
  8. Extremely disagree
  9. Don’t know

How important is it to you to work for an organization that supports social responsibility and sustainability?

  1. Extremely important
  2. Very important
  3. Moderately important
  4. Somewhat important
  5. Slightly important
  6. Neither important nor unimportant
  7. Slightly unimportant
  8. Somewhat unimportant
  9. Very unimportant

Wrapping up

When developing a Likert scale for a survey, it is imperative to ensure that the statements or questions are clear and unequivocal. Respondents should have no difficulty comprehending the statement or question being posed and their response options.

Additionally, it is critical to ensure that the response options are balanced, such that there is an equivalent number of affirmative and negative options. This aids in reducing the likelihood of response bias, where respondents may be inclined to answer more positively or negatively simply based on the phrasing of the questions.

Likert scales are a beneficial instrument for measuring attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions in surveys. They allow researchers to collect data that can be utilized to gain greater insight into people’s thoughts and emotions about a particular subject. By crafting Likert scale questions and response options carefully, researchers can collect high-quality data that is both reliable and valid.

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