How to structure Likert scale questions 🔗

Whenever you have a Likert [1] scale question, consider putting it onto a standardized answer scale. You can find and use multiple examples of such scales by entering "likert" into the GuidedTrack search bar. Please note that you'll need to use the GuidedTrack search bar from within a program, as shown below (rather than from the GT home page).

How to structure Likert scale questions (1)

We recommend the following when you're including Likert scales:

  • Use phrases for each answer option, rather than ambiguous scales that don't provide word-base prompts for what each option means (e.g., "select how you feel from 1 to 7" is unclear because participants do not know what is meant by the different numbers)
  • If you are not using an already-validated scale, try to make the spacing between answer options roughly equal (rather than making up new phrases where that may not be the case).

Standardized scales are useful to use because (among other reasons):

  • They can then be used across multiple questions, but only require you to code them once, and
  • Participants may answer more easily and quickly once they get used to the answer scale.

Please see the next two sections for good and bad examples of both double-sided and single-sided scales.


[1] If you've studied psychology you likely already know this, but Likert is pronounced "lick-urt" not "lie-kurt").


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