Remember that last time you were taking a survey and ‘neither agreed nor disagreed’ or ‘completely agreed/disagreed’ with a question? You may not have known it at the time, but those questions were based on what’s called a Likert scale.
Likert scale, named after its creator, an American social psychologist, Rensis Likert, is one of the most popular and reliable ways of measuring perceptions, attitudes, and opinions. It enables questionnaire takers to express their attitude by choosing one of the given answer options.
Unlike binary questions, which offer only two answer options, Likert scale questions are characterized by a wide range of options to choose from, usually ranging from one extreme (e.g. ‘strongly agree’) to another (e.g. ‘strongly disagree’).
The main purpose of a Likert scale is to measure attitudes. The main advantage, in comparison to the binary yes/no questions, is that it offers more degrees of agreement or disagreement. By offering more degrees of opinion, you’re more likely to receive valuable and relevant feedback from the questionnaire takers, especially when it comes to less concrete concepts that can’t be easily measured. The data obtained in this way can help you further improve your product or service.
Likert scales (in a slightly different form) are present in our everyday lives as well – you must’ve seen those smiley face feedback buttons at an airport or in a store. Even though you might have pressed it just for fun, those terminals are in fact powerful Likert scale based data collectors. They measure experiences, opinions, and moods in real time, transforming those smileys into quantitative data to be used for marketing purposes.
A note on Likert pronunciation: Most people actually mispronounce the term “Likert scale” – chances are you’ve heard it pronounced as “lie-kurt,” while the actual correct pronunciation should be “lick-urt”, based on the name of Rensis Likert, the scientist.
Likert scale questions are particularly useful for measuring people’s opinions on a specific topic when you want to do in-depth research to find out what people think about it. Some of the situations in which you’re likely to use a Likert scale survey are:
In order to get as accurate results as possible, you need to be as precise as possible when phrasing your questions and answers. In order to do so, you should avoid posing general questions. Try to narrow it down and be as specific as possible instead. We’re going to show you an example using the LeadQuizzes’ customer support satisfaction survey.
You may want to start with a broader ‘umbrella’ question…
…and then get more and more specific, while still sticking to the initial topic. For example:
We have to repeat this once again – be completely precise and clear. The takers need to comprehend exactly what you mean in order to supply you with an accurate result. What do we mean by that? Could you, with utmost certainty grade the following quantifiers: ‘pretty much’, ‘quite a bit’, ‘fairly likely’, ‘more or less’? Having quite a dilemma, right? Or is it a pretty big one? With that in mind, you should do your best to make deciding on the gradation of answers a no-brainer for the questionnaire takers.
A good practice might be to start with the extreme opposites (e.g. ‘extremely’ and ‘not at all’). Then, create some middle point that represents a neutral standpoint (e.g. ‘neither agree nor disagree’) and fill in the remaining options with clearly distinctive terms such as ‘very’ and ‘slightly’.
Due to a phenomenon inherent in the human nature, referred to as the acquiescence response bias, questionnaire respondents tend to agree with statements more often than disagree, regardless of the content. This is why it’s always better to ask questions than to simply ask for agreement or disagreement with an already given statement. So, let’s take a look at two ways of asking our users about their customer support experience.
In the first example, we’re making a positive statement about their experience and asking if they agree with it or not.
While in the second example, we are asking a real question about their experience and letting them completely independently choose their own answer.
Although we would probably like the answers to the first question more (due to the mentioned acquiescence response bias phenomenon), the second question is more likely to provide us with more objective and realistic feedback. If you aim to be a successful business owner or service provider, our advice is to opt for the second one, as this approach is more likely to help you pinpoint certain issues with your service and work on overcoming them.
In technical terms, the Likert scale enables you to add an unlimited number of answer options to your questionnaire. The most popular two, however, are 5-point and 7-point Likert scales.
The latter, obviously, enables users to choose from two additional answer options, thus enabling more precise responses. In some situations, you may even want to add more than 7 answer options, but be careful as too many options may be overwhelming for your users.
You may have noticed that both scales we illustrated contain an odd number of answer options. But, with Likert scales you may opt for even-numbered answer options as well. What’s the difference? The main one is that odd-numbered answer options allow room for a neutral response, whereas with the even-numbered ones the answer has to be either positive or negative.
Odds vs. evens? As with everything, it depends on your exact needs.
For example, sometimes a neutral option may be just an easy way of skipping the question without putting much thought into it. Cut the neutral answer out and it may ‘force’ the takers who were indecisive to think a bit deeper and provide you with a more valuable response than the neutral one. Proponents of even-numbered scales claim that people are never neutral and must have an opinion on any topic.
On the other hand, having a neutral response as an option may also be valuable, as too many neutral responses may show that you’re not doing enough to engage your users and actually make them form an opinion on the service you offer. Then again, there will always be some users that really don’t have an opinion on something, so forcing them to ‘take sides’ might be counterproductive in terms of the validity of results.
Scales that use only numbers as answer options may be confusing to some users, as it may be unclear which end of the scale is positive and which negative. In order to avoid such confusion, add words to your answer options.
Now that we’ve got you theoretically educated, we’re going to practically show you how to create your own Likert scale questionnaire in just a few steps. The first thing you need is the right Likert scale creator.
From your LeadQuizzes dashboard, just click on “Create New Content”.
After that, you’ll be prompted to set content name. Just write your desired name and hit “Save”.
Okay, the first two steps were quite a dummy-material but now the real survey-making starts. Don’t worry, with one of the best Likert scale survey maker options around, it’s doesn’t get much more complicated with the subsequent steps.
Here you can add different elements to different sections of your Likert scale survey. By simply dragging and dropping the elements on the left, you can customize the basic look of your Start Screen (by including a Cover Page), different Content Elements (such as Text Questions, Image Questions, Form Fields, and so on), and the Results page.
Also, you can change the title of your survey here, in case you’re having some second thoughts.
As soon as you drag & drop a content element to the builder, the app automatically opens a new window, allowing you to customize that element. We’ll show you how to create a Likert survey text question, but you can also add image questions, form fields, and other elements, depending on your needs.
You can add as many answer options as you like. Here, you can decide if your Likert scale questionnaire is going to contain an odd or even number answer options (as already pointed out, the most common options are the 5-point and 7-point Likert scales). If you feel short of question ideas, make sure to check out these 5 actionable tips on how to create amazing quiz questions.
Once you’re satisfied with the base look or your Likert questionnaire and the questions you’ve just created, you can move on to the Design tab (don’t worry, you can always go back and make some additional changes to your content before publishing).
The Design tab enables you to customize the look and feel of your content. Here you can customize the text (choose the font family and color), adjust the color (of background, button, border, button text), or upload the background image and adjust its opacity.
Here you can add the meta information used by social networks and search engines. You can also choose whether your Likert scale questionnaire will include any company branding (e.g. logo).
If you want people to fill out your Likert scale questionnaire, you need to find a way to get it out there in front of them. This step covers various options for sharing and promoting your content.
Here you get your own customized content URL which you can copy or share on various social media channels. Or you can grab the embed code and place your Likert scale survey on your own website.
If you’ve completed all of the 8 previous steps successfully, there’s only one thing that remains – publish your Likert scale-based survey. Just hit the “Publish” button and you’re all set.
Once you have created your own Likert scale survey, the question that naturally arises is how to analyze Likert scale data.
The traditional (and most basic) way of analyzing Likert scale data is by summing up the values of each selected answer option in order to create a score for each respondent. The obtained score can later be used to represent a particular attitude (for instance, ‘satisfied’ or ‘dissatisfied’).
This kind of reporting enables you to evaluate the respondents’ opinions and attitudes related to a new product, service, or feature. Such reports can then be used to create a chart of the distribution of opinions across different demographic categories.
For any type of Likert scale data analysis and interpretation to make sense, all of the items in the scale have to be closely tied to one and the same topic. In order for the summed score to reliably reflect and measure the particular behavior, trait, or attitude that you’re trying to measure, all of the Likert scale questions should fall into the similar category.
The attitude or trait that you’re measuring might be the overall satisfaction or likelihood to use your product or service, but in either case, you should stick to a topic that you picked for your Likert scale survey.
Having an item or a question that doesn’t fit can adversely affect the accuracy of your survey results and make your Likert scale analysis impossible or irrelevant.
For a better overview, the distribution of observations can be displayed in the form of a chart or any other suitable graphical representation.
Likert scale surveys can be used to measure a wide range of sentiments and opinions, including agreement, value, relevance, likelihood, satisfaction, quality, and importance.
If you’re looking for additional Likert scale template ideas, you can check out this comprehensive list of Likert scale examples for surveys, compiled by the Iowa State University graduates.
You’ve probably already been familiar with Likert scale questionnaires even before reading this article (or even without knowing it). And after reading our ultimate step-by-step guide, you should be able to create your own Likert scale surveys in an easy and effortless way. So, what are you waiting for? Just click on the image below and start creating your own interactive content.