Understanding the 5-Point Likert Scale and Its Variations

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One of the most common scaled-response format questions in satisfaction scale survey design today is the Likert scale. It was developed by the American educator and organizational psychologist Rensis Likert in 1932 as an attempt to improve the levels of measurement in social research through the use of standardized response categories in survey questionnaires. Over the years, Likert’s original 5-point scale has taken on many new forms which we will address in the following white paper.

A commonly used 5-point Likert scale format to measure satisfaction is:

  1. Very satisfied
  2. Satisfied
  3. Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
  4. Dissatisfied
  5. Very dissatisfied

Another version of the scale which can be found in some satisfaction surveys is the 6-point Likert scale which reads:

  1. Extremely satisfied
  2. Very satisfied
  3. Somewhat satisfied
  4. Somewhat dissatisfied
  5. Very dissatisfied
  6. Extremely dissatisfied

In February 2006, Infosurv conducted a forum of market researchers to understand their preference between 5-point and 6-point Likert scales. If you’d like to see the results, use the form on the right to request our white paper which details our findings.

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