Some Biases in Likert Scaling Usage and its Correction

  • Jonald L. Pimentel University of Southern Mindanao, Kabacan, Cotabato 9407 Philippines
Keywords: Bias, difference, even, Likert scale, odd, scoring.


In this paper, common biases or errors in the construction of intervals under the Likert scaling methodology in both odd and even scales are shown. Examples of researches that uses this scales especially in survey that requires perception response from the respondents will be presented, discussed and analyzed for possible biases. Suggestions for the corrections of these biases are presented in order to minimize the bias leading for a better labeling and interpretations of the results.


. Anonymous. The Effect of Right or Left Placement of the Positive Response on Likert-Type Scales Used by Medical Students for Rating Instruction. Education for Health, vo1.1, pp.122, 1998

. E.R..Babbie. The Basics of Social Research. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. p. 174 , 2005 ISBN 0534630367.

. J. Dawes. "Do Data Characteristics Change According to the number of scale points used? An experiment using 5-point, 7-point and 10-point scales". International Journal of Market Research, vol. 50 (1), pp.61–77, 2008

. S. Grant, T. Aitchison, E. Henderson, J. Christie, S. Zare, J. McMurray and H. Dargie..‘A Comparison of the Reproducibility and the Sensitivity to Change of Visual Analogue Scales, Borg Scales, and Likert Scales in Normal Subjects during Submaximal Exercise’ Chest, vol.116, pp 1208-1218, 1999

. J.Jacoby, and M.S. Matell. ‘Three-Point Likert Scales are Good Enough’ Journal of Marketing Research, vol. 8, pp. 495-501, 1971

. S. Jamieson. Likert scales: how to abuse them Blackwell Publishing Ltd MEDICAL EDUCATION 2004; vol.38, pp.1212–1218, 2004

. G.P. Latham. Work Motivation: History, Theory, Research, And Practice. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications. p. 15, 2006 ISBN 0761920188.

. K.Lindhorst,, L. Corby, S. Roberts, S. Zeiler. ‘Rural Consumers’ Attitudes towards Nutrition Labeling’ Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research, vol.68, pp.146-150, 2007

. R. Likert, "A Technique for the Measurement of Attitudes". Archives of Psychology vo.140: pp. 1–55, 1932

. L. S. Myers, G. Anthony, G. Glenn. Applied Multivariate Research: Design and Interpretation. Sage Publications. p. 20, 2005, ISBN 1412904129.

. N. Mogey, (March 25, 1999). "So You Want to Use a Likert Scale?". Learning Technology Dissemination Initiative. Heriot-Watt University. Retrieved April 30, 2009.

. G. Norman.Likert scales, level of measurement and the “laws” of statistics. Advances in Health Sciences Education. vol.15(5), pp. 625-632, 2010,

. J.L..Pimentel. A Note on the Usage of Likert Scaling for Research Data Analysis. USM R&D Journal, vol. 18, (2), 2010. ISSN 0302-7937.

. W.E. Saris, I. Gallhofer, W.Van der Veld, W. A scientific Method for Questionnaire Design: SQP. University of Amsterdam, 2003

. M.Seal, M. Patient Advocacy and Advance Care Planning in the Acute Hospital Setting. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol.24, pp.29-37, 2007

. G.M.Sullivan, A.R. Artino. Analyzing and Interpreting Data from Likert-Type Scales, Journal of Graduate Medical Education vol. 5(4), pp.541-542, 2013

. B.Torff, R.,Tirotta. Interactive whiteboards produce small gains in elementary students’ self-reported motivation in Mathematics. Computers & Education vol. 54, pp. 379-383, 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

. W.M. Trochim, (October 20, 2006). "Likert Scaling". Research Methods Knowledge Base, 2nd Edition. Retrieved April 30, 2009

. J.S. Uebersax, J. S. (2006). "Likert Scales: Dispelling the Confusion". Retrieved August 17, 2009.

. E. Muraki. Fitting a Polytomous Item Response Model to Likert-Type Data. Applied Psychological pp.59-71,1990

F. Samejima. Estimation of latent ability using a response pattern of graded scores. Psychometrika Monograph Supplement, no. 17. 1969

. G.N. Masters. A Rasch model for partial credit scoring. Psychometrika, vol. 47, pp.149-174, (1982)

. D.R. Hodge, D. Gillespie, Phrase Completions: An alternative to Likert Scales, Social Work Research, vol.27 pp. 45-55. .2003

. J.C. Westland. The information content of financial survey response data. Financial Innovation .vol.1. no.1. 2015