Likert scales are used in research interviews to measure the responses of survey participants. The researcher gives a statement or question and the survey participant has a number of choices that represent the degree of their answer. Likert scales can have anywhere from two to seven answer choices, though they generally have only four or five answers. Researchers assign points to each answer on the scale to give numerical value to data in the survey results.
Agreement scales determine to what degree the survey respondent agrees or disagrees with a statement. An agreement scales statement might be, “Eggs are the healthiest breakfast,” and the respondents would be asked to rate how strongly they agree with that statement. A five-point agreement scale may include answers such as “strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.”
Frequency scales determine how frequently the survey respondent performs a certain activity. A frequency scale question might be, “How often do you eat eggs for breakfast?” A six-point frequency scale may include answers such as “always, very frequently, occasionally, rarely, very rarely, never.”
Importance scales let the researcher know how important certain factors are to the survey respondent. An importance scale question may ask, “How important is it to eat eggs for breakfast everyday?” A five-point importance scale may include answers such as “very important, important, moderately important, of little importance, unimportant.”
Researchers use quality scales to determine the survey respondent’s standards when it comes to a product or service. A quality scale question may ask, “What is the level of quality of HappyTime Breakfast eggs?” A five-point quality scale may include answers such as “extremely poor, below average, average, above average, excellent.”
Likelihood scales ask the survey respondent if a statement is similar to him or herself. A likelihood scale statement might be, “I eat eggs for breakfast.” A seven-point likelihood scale may include answers such as “almost always true, usually true, often true, occasionally true, sometimes but infrequently true, usually not true, almost never true.” Likelihood scales may have only two points, with the survey asking, “How much is this statement like you?” and with the possible answers of, “like me, unlike me.”
Roslyn Frenz started writing professionally in 2005, covering music, business ethics and philosophy. Her work has appeared in "Designing Wealth," "The Other Side," "Upstate Live" and many other publications. Frenz has a bachelor's degree in business marketing from the University of Phoenix. She is pursuing an M.F.A. in creative writing.