Likert Scale Questions
Guide with Examples
Likert Scale questions are a type of survey question used to measure the level of agreement or disagreement with a statement. Respondents are typically given a range of options from strongly agree to strongly disagree.
We all might have come across questionnaires or surveys asking how much we agree or disagree on something. It could be about someone’s opinion, product, or anything else. So, if you have answered a question like that before, that is known as a Likert scale question.
Likert scale questions are quite common throughout the various industries for surveys. It allows marketers to better understand the attitudes instead of a simple “yes or no” answer. Since surveys are a critical element of market research, most companies want to ensure that they ask the right questions to their target audience.
According to Statista, 20% of the overall global spending on market research was on CRM systems (customer satisfaction) surveys. This shows how important surveys and questionnaires are for businesses. In this article, we’ll give you a comprehensive review of Likert scale survey questions.
What is a Likert Scale Question?
Before moving on to Likert scale questions, we need to briefly discuss the survey scale.
The survey scale includes a different range of answer options, which cover a variety of opinions on the topic. It can either be numeric or verbal. It is a close-ended question where the respondents only have pre-populated answer choices.
Now, so what does a Likert scale survey question entail? The question uses a three, five, or seven-point scale. Most people also refer to it as the satisfaction scale, with the range showing one extreme attitude to another. However, the survey will include a neutral option in its scale.
Rensis Likert, an American social scientist, was the brains behind the Likert scales. They are commonly used options that allow businesses to discover the consumer’s attitudes, point-of-view, and behaviours.
Likert Scale Questions easily explained
How Is Likert Scale Survey Question Different from Binary Question?
The critical element about the binary questions is that it only contains two answers: yes or no. Likert scale survey questions, on the other hand, allow you to get more comprehensive feedback from your target audience. They can tell you whether they liked the product as just fine or excellent.
Similarly, an employee leaving the company can rate their overall experience with the company. It can help the business learn about valuable data, such as employees’ reasons for leaving the company as well. Once they identify such problems, they can take relevant actions to resolve them.
How is Likert Scale Question Different from Matrix Question?
Most people think matrix and Likert scale questions are the same. However, that is not the case since Likert Scale questions are a type of Matrix questions designed to measure different opinions.
With a point scale, you can easily collect the user sentiments and determine the different attitudes accordingly. Also, it is important to note that you provide options that align with the opinion.
For instance, if you’re looking for a response in terms of an agreement, you should give options such as strongly agree to strongly disagree. Below are some other such examples as well to give you a better idea:
- Quality (Excellent- Poor)
- Likelihood (Very Likely- Not very likely)
- Importance (Very Important- Unimportant)
- Frequency (Always- Never)
The format is the critical thing that differentiates Matrix from the Likert scale question. Matrix questions usually appear in a grid (or matrix), whereas the Likert scales are mostly in listicle forms.
Though Likert scales are a variation of Matrix questions, the latter can be useful in various cases apart from attitudinal measurement.
Benefits of Likert Scale Survey Questions
Likert scale questions are a popular type of survey question that can be used in online surveys. One of the best things about the Likert scale questions is that it allows you to get a degree of opinions. Moreover, you can also uncover different areas that need improvement through the Likert scale survey. Let’s discuss the different benefits that you can get from Likert scale survey questions.
- Easy to understand:
Likert scale questions are easy for respondents to understand, which makes them a good choice for online surveys. The scales typically range from 1 to 5 or 1 to 7, with each number corresponding to a level of agreement or disagreement with a statement.
- Present a Neutral Opinion:
Likert scale questions allow people to present a natural point-of-view rather than an either-or opinion. Since there is a scale, people can easily choose the best response as per their opinion.
- Standardized responses:
The use of a standardized response scale ensures that all respondents are answering the same question in the same way, which makes it easier to compare responses across different respondents.
Likert scale questions are flexible and can be used to measure a wide range of attitudes and opinions as well as to determine agreement or disagreement with a statement, the frequency of a behavior, or the importance of a particular issue.
Likert scale questions can be used to gather a large amount of data quickly and efficiently. Since respondents are simply selecting a number on a scale, it takes less time to answer a Likert scale question than an open-ended question.
- Reliable and valid:
Likert scale questions are generally reliable and valid, meaning that they measure what they are intended to measure consistently and accurately.
- Allows for statistical analysis:
The use of a Likert scale allows for statistical analysis of the data gathered. This means that researchers can use techniques such as factor analysis to identify underlying factors or dimensions that explain the responses to the Likert scale questions.
Overall, Likert scale questions are a popular choice for online surveys due to their ease of use, flexibility, efficiency, reliability, and validity.
Drawbacks of Likert Scale Survey Questions
While there are various benefits of using the Likert scale survey, there are a few drawbacks that you need to keep in mind. So, before you conduct a Likert scale survey, it is important that you go over them.
- Cluttered responses about the topic/opinion:
The biggest disadvantage of a Likert scale survey is that you’ll get cluttered responses. This means some respondents might choose an extreme option while others might refrain from expressing opinions. As a result, you’ll get results that are clustered between scales.
It will become difficult to differentiate between strong and weakly held opinions. So, it might become difficult for you to measure the true value of people’s attitudes.
- Limited response options:
Likert scales typically use a fixed number of response options (e.g., 5 or 7) which may not be sufficient to capture the complexity of some attitudes or opinions. Respondents may feel constrained by the response options and unable to express their true feelings or thoughts.
The interpretation of the Likert scale responses can be subjective. Respondents may interpret the scale differently depending on their personal experiences and beliefs, which can result in inconsistent or unreliable responses.
Lack of detail:
Likert scales may lack the level of detail required to fully understand the nuances of the respondent’s opinion or attitude. For example, if a respondent selects “neutral” on a Likert scale, it is unclear whether they are truly neutral or if they simply don’t have a strong opinion either way.
Inability to capture context:
Likert scales may not capture the context in which the attitudes or opinions are expressed. Respondents may have different attitudes or opinions depending on the situation, but a Likert scale question may not provide enough information to differentiate between these situations.
The use of Likert scale questions can introduce bias if the questions are not designed or worded appropriately. For example, leading questions or questions with a particular bias may influence the responses.
- Limited to measuring attitudes and opinions:
While Likert scales are useful for measuring attitudes and opinions, they may not be suitable for measuring behaviors or other objective measures.
In summary, it can be said that likert scales are a popular choice for survey questions, but it is important to be aware of their limitations and potential drawbacks. Careful consideration should also be given to the design and wording of the questions to ensure that they are measuring what they are intended to measure.
When to Use a Likert Scale Question?
There are different use cases for the Likert scale questions in different types of online surveys. From finding out about employee satisfaction to what your customers think about the products, Likert scale questions can help you collect data for various cases.
Labour turnover is huge for businesses since it can significantly impact the cost. Also, businesses with a lower retention rate would likely have lower productivity and efficiency. So the best way to find out about employee engagement and sentiment is through a Likert scale survey.
Companies can keep tabs on employee engagement levels by adopting the same 5-point Likert scale. It can also help uncover important issues. For instance, businesses can learn how aware their employees are of IT resources. They can also check how much employees know about the HR policies.
Furthermore, it can also help companies uncover issues and measure agreement levels. For instance, you can send out a Likert scale question like the following one:
I’m happy with the training and growth opportunities available in the organization:
This will allow you to uncover how employees feel about the different opportunities available in the company. The management can look at the results and then come up with a relevant policy for it.
The most common use of a Likert scale is to gauge customer satisfaction. It uses a small scale where users can rank their opinions about a particular service or product. For instance, a 5-point Likert scale can ask users about their agreement level regarding a particular statement.
This level one would be the lowest, and the five would be the highest, while others would be natural options in the middle.
When we talk about customer service, the Likert scale responses are easy to understand and measure different sentiments, such as notification, desirability, etc.
For instance, you might want to know how often your customer uses your online app or portal. So, you can send a Likert scale question with the options mentioned below:
How often do you use the company’s portal/app?
It will give you a better idea of the engagement levels of your users with your app/portal. You can use the answers to come up with a relevant strategy to increase user engagement for your app/portal.
Apart from collecting feedback from customers and employees, Likert scale questions are also useful for collecting relevant feedback for events. You can use a 4 or 5-point Likert scale to gather relevant information. A post-event survey is an optimal way to get responses about the overall event experience.
It can also help you find out about the things that people like d about the event. Additionally, you can also find out about the probability of participants willing to attend again. You can ask a Likert scale question like the following one to assess the importance of the event:
How beneficial was the content for you at the event?
- Extremely helpful
- Very helpful
- Somewhat helpful
- Not so helpful
- Not at all helpful
The results you can collect from the survey will allow you to review whether the event was helpful to the customers or not.
Quick Tips for Writing Good Likert Scale Questions
Writing effective Likert scale questions is effective for businesses if they want to collect valuable data. They can use it for market research and develop strategies per customer insights. So, to help you out, here are a few tips to help you come up with good Likert scale questions.
- Keep Questions Short and Concise
Long questions would lead to confusion since the respondents might not be able to understand it clearly. So, you should come up with questions that are factually and specifically addressing a point.
That way, respondents can give an honest opinion to the question. The question should recognize the aspect you want to get feedback for, such as price, packaging, satisfaction, effectiveness, etc. It will leave no room for someone to interpret something differently.
- Use Questions Instead of Statements
A common mistake that most people make when writing Likert scale surveys is that they’ll use statements. Question-wording has a major impact on how the respondents perceive the question. So, it is best to consider this factor when phrasing Likert questions.
For example, “My satisfaction levels for the products are:” will lead to subjective responses. Instead, you should phrase it like this: “How satisfied are you with the product?”
- Focus on Getting Diverse Answers
You must give your customers a wide range of answers to choose from. No matter how good your question is, you won’t be able to clearly understand customer preferences if you don’t give them a broad range of answers.
It might seem like a good situation where everybody would agree that your product is perfect. But you’ll be missing out on the true feedback from your customers. As a result, you won’t be able to identify the areas that need improvement.
- Go Through Your Questions
Last but not least, you should review your questions before sending them out to your respondents. You should also grade them before sending the Likert scale questions to your respondents.
Check if the sentence phrasing is correct and if there are any grammatical errors. Also, use a lively tone and avoid repetition to ensure the respondents stay engaged.
Keeping the questions unequivocal and concise when developing a Likert scale survey is imperative. That way, respondents can easily comprehend the questions and respond honestly.
Additionally, the response options should ensure that you get a balanced result. It should include the same number of positive and negative options. As a result, it will mitigate the chance of response bias, where respondents may answer negatively or positively depending on the question’s phrasing.
If you can leverage the Likert scale questions correctly, it can be a beneficial tool for you. It can accurately measure the attitudes, opinions, and ideas of your survey respondents. It can help you collect data for better insights into people’s thoughts and emotions regarding a specific topic.Learn about further Online Survey Question Types
FAQ About Likert Scale Questions
What is an example of a Likert scale question?
An example of the Likert scale question can be: How would you rate the overall service of the restaurant? The respondents would have a 5-point Likert scale from which they can choose an answer.
Can a Likert scale have 4 options?
Yes, you can have a 4-Point Likert Scale that respondents can choose from according to their preference.
What is a weakness of the Likert scale?
The weakness of the Likert Scale is that it is uni-dimensional, which means there would be only specific options to choose from, and the gap between every option isn’t equidistant. So, it cannot measure the true attitudes of respondents.