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Likert Scale

Updated on April 4, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byWallstreetmojo Team
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Is Likert Scale?

Likert Scale is a 5 or 7-point scale used to allow individuals to express how much they agree or disagree with a particular statement. It is a set of statements offered for real or hypothetical situations under study. Individuals are asked a specific set of questions on a metric scale where they show their level of agreement from strongly agree to strongly disagree.

Likert Scale

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In a Likert scale survey, all the statements should be interlinked so that all statements in combination should lead to a specific outcome. However, they shouldn’t diverge from the common dimension. It is a widely used metric by researchers to assess the perspectives and opinions of consumers or individuals toward a product, brand, or market they would like to target.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Likert scale is a 5 or 7-point scale that measures how much a person disagrees or agrees with something.
  2. Basically, the Likert scale is taken as a survey based on hypothetical statements where the respondents get a choice to choose their stance with the statements, from a scale of “Disagree”, “Partially disagree”, “Neutral”, “Partially agree,”, and “Agree”.
  3. This scale is vital in forming opinions about a person and predicting their decisions on topics of general interest.

Likert Scale Explained

Likert scale is a unidimensional scale or a metric used by researchers to understand, interpret, and assess the attitude, perspectives, and opinions towards brands, products, or a particular market. This scale is usually used as a five-point or a seven-point variant to understand the agreement or disagreement with the questions asked through Likert scale research.

Participants get framed questions with pre-judgment, all leading to a common dimension. It states how much people agree or disagree with a particular statement. They get a range of options from which they can choose.

There is an option to choose ‘neutral’ as a response for participants who are unsure about their opinions. Individuals have to choose within the specified option, so at times, individuals’ real opinions are not shared.

If you just ask a question for a survey, then it may happen that the individual didn’t listen to your question properly and just gave an answer which makes it unreliable. Therefore, the Likert scale increases the reliability factor by asking dependent questions to the same person simultaneously.

The Likert Scale is an important way by which we can objectify an opinion and make decisions accordingly. It is widely used in market research, where new markets are surveyed and analyzed for new products or business launches.

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Examples

Let us understand how a Likert scale survey is constructed and how the data retrieved from the survey is used for interpretation and finally implementation with the help of a couple of examples. These practical examples will give us an in-detail perspective of the concept.

Example #1

Mr. X wants to open a broking firm. He wants to do a survey and see who all like to trade. Construct a questionnaire for a 5 Point Likert scale survey and explain the post-survey result.

Solution:

  • The most important part of this survey is to set up the right statements.
  • Each statement should lead to the common dimension of individuals either liking or disliking trading.
  • Statements shouldn’t be off-track, and they should cover the common dimension in totality.

Construction of Statements:

  1. I like the stock market.
  2. I like stocks.
  3. I like money.
  4. I like the returns.

If you see the questions carefully, you will feel that if a person says that he likes the stock market, he can’t say that he hates stocks. So just by seeing the answer to the first statement, you can predict the answers to the rest of the statements. In addition, all the statements are interconnected, which increases the reliability factor.

The reliability factor of a survey is the factor that states how much the survey is fruitful and throws the correct picture or not. For example, suppose you see that an individual has chosen to like Stock marketsStock MarketsStock Market works on the basic principle of matching supply and demand through an auction process where investors are willing to pay a certain amount for an asset, and they are willing to sell off something they have at a specific price.read more but hates stocks. In that case, it means that the person has not read the statements properly before answering, so his answers will not be included in the final counting. Therefore, the reliability factor is increased in the Likert scale survey.

Now we will have to attach options to the statements. For example, in the 5 Point Likert Scale, we will be attaching five options with a “neutral” option.

The Options will be:

  1. Strongly agree
  2. Agree
  3. Neutral
  4. Disagree
  5. Strongly Disagree

Now we will have to attach a numeric to each option.

Say ‘Strongly agree’ is 1, ‘Agree’ is 2, ‘Neutral’ is 3, ‘Disagree’ is 4, and ‘Strongly disagree’ is 5.

Numbering12345
Strongly AgreeAgreeNeutralDisagreeStrongly Disagree
I like Stock Market
I like Stocks
I like Money
I like Return
Total48121620

So from the above chart, you can see that if an individual strongly agrees to all statements, the total score will be four because ‘strongly agree’ is number ‘1. Similarly, if he just ‘agrees’ to two statements and ‘strongly agrees’ to the other two, his total score will be (1 + 1 + 2 + 2 = 6).

Now, we have taken a survey of 120 individuals. Out of 120, you see that 20 surveys are unreliable, so you remove 20 surveys. Not reliable means that they have selected ‘strongly agree’ in one statement and ‘strongly disagree’ in another statement

Now out of 100 surveys, if the total score is more than (12 * 100) = 1200, then it means that people generally don’t like trading in this particular market. 12 is the midpoint. It is the total score if a person chooses Neutral in all its statements.

So out of 100 Surveys, the midpoint should be (12 * 100) = 1200. If the total score of the survey is less than 1200, then Mr. X should open a trading firm as most people strongly or agreeably like trading. Hence, we are clubbing opinions to generate a composite score and make decisions accordingly.

Example #2

When the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 2020, the spread of the virus in the African continent was relatively slower than in other countries such as The United States, India, and Brazil.

However, steadily the cases were on the rise and parallelly, the misinformation and disinformation about the vaccine were also on the rise on social and mainstream media. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the degree of acceptance, refusal, or questioning of the vaccine is referred to as the vaccine acceptance rate.

Initially, the masses were unwilling to be administered the vaccines for the virus. From Likert scale research, it was found that the willingness rate was only 27.7% in Congo whereas in other countries like China, the rate was 91.3%.

The government was able to take action based on this and similar other research and created awareness programs for the understanding of its citizens.

How To Interpret?

Inviting responses on a Likert scale survey is one skill, and interpreting them to convert into meaningful and actionable data is a completely different skill set that requires an understanding of both the topic of research and a basic understanding of statistics as well. Let us understand how to interpret the data through the discussion below.

  • The process of interpretation begins even before circulating the survey form. As in, framing questions in such a way that the responses can easily be segregated into categories that answer the questions of the research itself.
  • Assigning each response to a point value will give the researcher a good idea of the number of responses for each degree of opinion.
  • Creating a graphical representation of the responses will give a better idea about the spread of opinions of the participants.
  • The most common options chosen by the participants usually determine the area where the product, brand, or market is strong. Therefore, the plans after the research usually start from there.
  • The area with the least responses defines the area that needs the most amount of work for the researcher or the surveyor post the declaration of results.

7 Point Scale Vs 5 Point Scale

Both these forms of Likert scale research are common. However, there are a few differences in their implications and the forms of interpretations. Let us understand the differences through the comparison below.

7 Point Likert scale provides more varieties of options, which increases the probability of meeting the objective reality of people. If a person has an opinion about liking ‘stock markets’ that doesn’t fall under ‘strongly agree’ and ‘agree,’ he is forced to choose between these two opinions, as there are no other options in the 5 Point Likert Scale.

In the 7 Point Scale, the opinions are further divided to meet the actual sentiment of the individuals. Maybe they will add another opinion along with ‘strongly agree’ and ‘agree ‘slightly agree.’

So the 7 point Likert scale is the same as the 5 point scale, but the opinion options are more in the case of the 7 points Likert scale. As a 7 point scale reveals more description of the motif and thus appeals practically to the “faculty of reason.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is Likert scale important?

Both survey administrators and respondents face no obstacles using the Likert scale. Compared to higher-point scales, it requires less time and effort to complete compared to higher-point scales and fits mobile device screens better.

How to summarize the Likert scale data?

The conventional method of reporting on a Likert scale is to produce a score for each respondent by adding the values of each chosen option. When utilized for sociological or psychological study, this score is then used to reflect a certain trait, such as being satisfied or unsatisfied.

What are the advantages of Likert scale?

With the Likert scale, the implementation is simple as it is the most widely used method for gathering survey data. Also, the responses are subject to the computation of some mathematical analysis and are readily quantifiable.

What are the disadvantages of Likert scale?

First of all, respondents seem to agree with all statements shown to them, called the acquiescence bias. It’s challenging to regard unbiased ideas as “Neither agree nor disapprove.”

This has been a guide to what is Likert Scale. Here we explain its examples, how to interpret them, and compare a 5-point scale with a 7-point scale. You can learn more from the following articles –

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