Likert scale

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Wikipedia.
Related to Likert scale: Semantic differential scale

Likert scale

a technique for measuring the strength of a person's ATTITUDE or predisposition towards a person, object, idea, phenomenon, etc. (Likert, 1932). Likert scales assume that attitudes lie on a simple, dichotomous continuum running from one extreme position through neutral to the other extreme, for example, capitalism/ communism, religion/atheism.

Likert scales are subjective in nature, insofar as they are based on the replies given by individuals to a battery of questions. In constructing such scales a sample of respondents from the target population are presented with a large number of statements thought to have a bearing on the subject. For example, to construct a scale to measure the strength of religious belief respondents may be presented with statements such as: ‘The laws relating to blasphemy are outdated and should be abolished’; ‘We can be almost certain that human beings evolved from lower animals’; ‘Every woman has the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy if she so wishes’, ‘The miracles in the Bible happened just as they are described there’.

Respondents are asked to indicate to what extent they agree or disagree with each statement, using a three-, five- or seven-point scale. A five-point scale is generally considered to be best. The replies given to each question are then coded (see CODING) so that a high score indicates a strong disposition towards the subject under consideration and a low score indicates its polar opposite. Finally, the Likert scale is constructed using those items whose scores correlate most closely with the overall scores, i.e. the scale has internal consistency and each item has predictability. This final form of the scale can then be administered to the population for whom it is intended.

The main problem with constructing Likert scales is that of ensuring that the individual items in the scale tap one dimension only. In measuring religious attitudes, as discussed above, for example, people's opinions about abortion are determined by many factors of which the individual's religious persuasion is only one. Various statistical techniques, such as FACTOR ANALYSIS have been devised which enable researchers to calculate the internal consistency of their scales. See also ATTITUDE SCALE AND MEASUREMENT, GUTTMAN SCALE.

References in periodicals archive ?
10 It consists of a questionnaire consisting of 20 questions answered on a 7 point Likert scale, from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree).
Ten common misunderstandings, misconceptions, persistent myths and urban legends about Likert scales and Likert response formats and their antidotes.
Major Weaknesses and Issues with Original Likert Scale
By using the Likert scale (0-3) the mean GHQ score was found to be 11.
The MEIM includes statements to which respondents answer based on a four-point Likert scale ranging from 1 = Strongly disagree to 4 = Strongly agree.
Clinical criteria for entry were pre-enrollment ambulatory pain assessed by a visual analog score [greater than or equal to] 30 mm on a 100-mm scale; moderate pain, assessed with 5-point Likert scale; or increased pain, evidenced by an increase of [greater or equal to] 10 mm on visual analog scale or [greater then or equal to] 1 on Likert scale when taken off their previous analgesic during the initial 2 weeks of no treatment.
Via questionnaires, 17 participants rated items on a 5-point Likert scale.
Although the agree-disagree format is perhaps the most common form of Likert scale, other types of response keys also are widely used (for example, very unmotivated, moderately unmotivated, indifferent, moderately motivated, very motivated; below average, slightly below average, average, slightly above average, above average; and so forth).
A seven-point Likert scale was used to capture their responses to a series of five questions which broke litigation risk into separate components.
Using a 5-point Likert scale, 470 teachers (Head Start, public school preschool, and preschool special education) completed surveys rating how important it is for preschool-age children to learn these skills and abilities.
75 females and 36 male undergraduate students evaluated either a grammatically correct writing sample or a grammatically anomalous sample and answered attitude questions using a Likert scale.