3 Reasons Why the Likert Scale Works

Why is the Likert scale so effective in surveys?

  1. It provides accurate data about opinions on a certain topic.
  2. People can answer them quickly.
  3. It provides deeper details compared to binary choices.


Almost everyone in the world today have answered at least one survey – either in physical form or on software form like the ones seen on a WordPress survey plugin. Many brands and companies use this in order to gather necessary information to improve their products and services.

These businesses do whatever they can in order to get accurate answers from their surveys; after all, not doing so can result into their failed business ventures, which none of them want. As a result, they use a Likert scale in their census and research, for this tool is known to be really effective.

If you are not familiar with the Likert scale, then don’t fret for you can read all about it below.


What is a Likert Scale?

What is a Likert Scale?

Basically, a Likert scale is a set of answers that express the extremity of a respondent’s agreement or disagreement with the question. Here are some examples:

  1. Extremely likely
  2. Very likely
  3. Likely
  4. Indifferent
  5. Unlikely
  6. Very unlikely
  7. Extremely unlikely

Such a set of answers can be used to answer a question like “How likely are you to eat after working out?” or “Will you work from home given the choice?” When the answers have been summarized, surveyors can see how much a targeted audience agrees or disagrees with certain questions. This makes it a great tool to measure previously intangible data, such as opinions and perceptions.


Why should the Likert scale be used on WordPress Survey Plugins?

Why should the Likert scale be used on WordPress Survey Plugins?

If you are using survey plugins on WordPress, then you’ll be glad to know that even there you could utilize the Likert scale. As mentioned above, this will ultimately assist you in your research to find out accurate results for your data. If you need more reasons to convince you aside from that, then have a read below.


1.    Limitations of Binary Questions: Before the Likert Scale

You can only imagine how hard it was for surveyors before social scientist, Rensis Likert, created his revolutionary scale. They couldn’t easily gather data regarding questions like, “What do you think of our current President?” The gathering of such data relied on rewording of the said question. It would have to be framed like so, “Do you think our current President is doing a good job?” Doing this allowed them to give their respondents binary choices. In this case it could be either “Yes” or “No;” this means that only agreement and disagreement can be voiced out by respondents, and not the extent of it.


2.    Data on Opinions

With the Likert scale, there would be no need to reword the question “What do you think of our current President?” There would only be a need to provide the right choices. For this example, it could be the following:

  • He is the best President ever.
  • He is doing pretty well.
  • He is alright.
  • I don’t care.
  • He is not doing okay.
  • He is doing a terrible job.
  • He is the worst President ever.

By providing respondents with such choices, surveyors can get more granular feedback. They will be able to find out how good or how bad the President is doing in the eyes of the people.

Outside of that example, it’s truly a very useful feedback tool that anyone can use to improve anything in a business. By being able to uncover the general opinion of the people, Likert scales on WordPress survey plugins can help companies get the feedback they need to make the next smart business move. This works for art, reputation management, etc. It’s definitely the feedback tool everybody needs.


3.    People are Happier with Likert Scales

It’s simple really; the Likert scale expresses a person’s opinions accurately. As compared to a “Yes” or “No” question, respondents will spend less time thinking about their choices. It makes the survey more satisfying and quicker. You could say that with the Likert scale, they have been given a shortcut.


When should the Likert Scale be used?

When should the Likert Scale be used?

Generally, the Likert scale is the most effective tool to use, when a surveyor wants to know more details about a certain topic and when he wants to know people’s opinions in data form. Usually, the need for this arises in the following situations:

  1. When a new product is released
  2. When a new rule is implemented
  3. When a service is completed
  4. When an event was executed

For these and other similar situations, granular feedback is needed in order to measure sentiment. Of course, not everyone will fully agree or disagree with the features of a new products, the terms of a new rule, the execution of a service, or the production of an event. There are gray areas and surveyors want to know exactly what these areas mean. Experts call this a variance. They use this to truly know what a respondent is thinking. With such opinion-based questions, they would need variance, which the Likert scale can provide.


Key Takeaway

Nowadays, with the reality of survey fatigue, there is a need to get accurate data without tiring out the respondent. With a Likert scale, it’s a quick way to do just that. People will love answering such questions because it expresses who they are. At the same time, it’s not time consuming like an essay. Surveyors also get more accurate and deeper data about the opinions of people regarding a certain topic. It’s a win-win method for all, and putting a Likert scale on a WordPress survey plugin will benefit any website.

Sean Si is the CEO and Founder of SEO Hacker and Qeryz. A start-up, data analysis and urgency junkie who spends his time inspiring young entrepreneurs through talks and seminars. Check out his personal blog where he writes about starting up two companies and life in general.

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