Remember the 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.
Welcome to the ultimate guide on everything Likert scale related!
Here you will learn what it is and how you can use it, which survey questions to ask, which Likert scale options to use and how to create a Likert scale survey using LeadQuizzes.
Also, we have prepared a variety of Likert scale examples, applications, and templates to inspire your efforts.
In fact, before we even start talking about Likert scales, here’s a FREE template for those of you familiar with the concept.
Likert Scale Template
We’ve created a wide range of online survey templates for all our active users, including a FREE Likert scale template. You can use it as it is or easily customize to fit your specific needs. Simply click on the Preview Template button to view the content.
*To access the template and use it right away, just create an account (or login), and then select a template from our builder. It’s available to users on free trial too!
Okay, let’s now dig a bit deeper into it, starting with a brief Likert scale definition.
What is a Likert Scale?
While looking for an effective way of studying and measuring human attitudes and the factors that underlie those, the Likert scale creator, American social psychologist Rensis Likert, came up with a scale for attitude measurement.
Today, the Likert scale 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.
For example, the question below is based on the Likert scale.
(Speaking of a FREE template, click here to preview our Likert Scale Survey template. You can use it for FREE from your LeadQuizzes account dashboard.)
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 survey 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 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 Likert pronunciation should be “lick-urt”, based on the name of Rensis Likert, the scientist.
How to Ask Quality Likert Scale Questions
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. Still, in order to get accurate results, you need to know exactly how and what to ask.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating your own Likert scale questionnaire:
Be precise and specific (focus on one topic)
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. In our example, we first ask a broad question and then dissect it down into more specific aspects of the general topic.
In terms of customer support satisfaction, we ask about the quality of communication:
About the response time:
The turnaround time (how much time it took us to actually solve the issue):
And finally, we check whether we can turn this (presumably satisfied) customer into a referral source:
Avoid using vague words or expressions
I have to repeat this once again, it’s that important – your Likert scale question and answer options need to be completely precise and clear. The takers need to fully comprehend what you mean in order to supply you with an accurate answer.
What exactly do I 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 Likert 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’.
Structure it as a question rather than a statement
Due to a phenomenon inherent in human nature, referred to as the acquiescence response bias, survey respondents tend to agree with statements more often than disagree, regardless of the content.
This is why it’s always better to ask a direct question than to simply ask for agreement or disagreement with an already given statement. 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 the answers to the first question would probably be more to our liking (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 concrete issues with your service and work on overcoming them.
Determine the ideal number of answer options
In technical terms, the Likert scale enables you to add an unlimited number of answer options to your questionnaire. In practice, the most popular variants are the 5-point, 6-point, and 7-point Likert scales.
The first thing you need to decide is whether you’re going to use odd or even number of answer options. Even though this might seem as a trivial decision, it actually determines one important thing – whether your scale is going to have a neutral standpoint or not.
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.
Words, not numbers
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.
Likert Scale Creator Guide – 4 Tips on How to Create a Likert Scale Survey
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 a survey maker that lets you create questions based on the Likert scale – this is where LeadQuizzes kicks in.
Don’t have an account yet? Sign up for a FREE trial now, it only takes a few minutes and you can cancel anytime – no strings attached.
Once you do so, here are 4 tips on how to make a great Likert scale survey.
Tip #1 – Create the right type of Likert scale questions and answers
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.
Here, we’ll show you how to create a Likert scale 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 want. 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 tips for writing great questions.
Step #2 – Create an effective survey results page
Create a simple ‘Thank You’ result page or several different result options based on how your respondents reply to survey questions – it’s totally up to you.
For example, if your customers like your product or service, you can ask them to leave a review on Amazon or Yelp. If they don’t, you can ask for their advice on how to improve your service.
Or you can opt for a URL redirect instead, leading to your website or a landing page.
Here’s a simple but effective “thank you” page we created for our customer support survey:
Tip #3 – Customize your Likert scale survey design
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, buttons, borders, button text), or upload the background image and adjust its opacity.
Tip #4 – Make your Likert questionnaire easily-sharable and GDPR compliant
In the Configure tab, you can add the meta-information used by social networks and search engines and choose whether your Likert scale questionnaire will include any company branding (e.g. logo).
As you would be using your survey to collect data on your users, you need to make sure it’s GDPR compliant.
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. The Share tab gives you various options for sharing and promoting your content.
Here you can 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 questionnaire on your own website.
Once you’ve successfully created and distributed your survey, and had your respondents fill it out, it’s time to analyze the obtained Likert scale data. That’s why you are doing the survey after all, isn’t it?
Likert Scale Analysis
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 assigning values to different answer options and then summing up the values of selected answer options 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.
The LeadQuizzes Reports feature enables you to easily gain insights into how many views your survey has had, as well as the survey completion rate and the number of takers who left their contact information.
Even more relevant to the Likert scale analysis, it offers a breakdown of all the responses so that you can easily see how each of the takers responded to each of the Likert scale questions in your survey.
This kind of analytics makes analyzing Likert scales easier and more efficient. For even better analysis options, LeadQuizzes enables you to export the reports to an Excel doc that is sent directly to your mail.
Of course, 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 other words, 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 a similar category.
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.
Area of Application of Likert Scale Surveys
Ever since it was introduced back in 1932, the Likert scale has found a wide variety of applications in all kinds of research. Here are some of the most common uses:
Likert Scale in Psychology and Social Sciences
Developed by a sociologist and psychologist, and modeled after the work of one of the pioneers in psychometrics (see more about the Thurstone scales), the Likert scale has been widely used in psychological research.
Likert scales are used to assess attitudes and behaviors so as to learn more about subjects’ personality. They’re especially valuable to psychologists because they allow them to examine the degree to which people express agreement or disagreement with a certain statement.
It’s also often used in political surveys to get a better understanding of how the general public feels about a certain social issue or certain political candidates.
Likert Scale in Business and Marketing
Likert scale surveys have found a wide range of applications in different areas of business and marketing. It’s an essential tool for measuring people’s opinions on various business developments, conducting market research, or working on new marketing strategies.
Here are some of the situations in which you would be likely to use a Likert scale:
- A new product release
- Customer service experience
- A recent development at the company
- To examine the success of an event
Likert Scale in Statistics
As a reliable source of easily quantifiable data, Likert scales have found its place in all kinds of statistical calculations. After gathering data using a Likert survey, statisticians can use different kinds of t-tests to analyze the answers to Likert scale based questions and come up with different kinds of complex statistical data.
Whatever the field of study, Likert scale surveys can be used to measure a wide range of sentiments and opinions, including agreement, value, relevance, likelihood, satisfaction, quality, importance, and more.
If you’re looking for additional Likert scale ideas, you can check out this comprehensive list of Likert scale examples for surveys, compiled by the Iowa State University graduates.
Likert Scale Examples
As already mentioned above, Likert scales can have a different number of answer options. Here, we’re going to present you with 3 of the most popular Likert scale examples – 5-point, 6-point, and 7-point scales.
5 point Likert scale
Let’s start with two scales with an odd number of answer options. As you can see in the image below, the 5-point Likert scale offers two positive, two negative, and one neutral attitude towards the statement in question.
7 point Likert scale
Compared to the previous one, the 7-point Likert scale 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 because too many options may be overwhelming for the takers.
6 point Likert scale
Likert scales allow you to opt for even-numbered answer options too. The main difference 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.
Even though the 5 point and 7 point scales seem to be more popular, a study by psychologist Leonard Simms has shown that there’s more empirical justification for using 6 point scales.
You’ve probably already been familiar with Likert scales even before reading this article (or even without knowing it). Now, after reading our ultimate step-by-step guide, you should be able to create your own Likert scale surveys and start measuring attitudes and opinions in an easy and effortless way.
Simply click on the image below and start creating your own surveys and questionnaires right now!