What is Likert Scale | 5 Point, 7 Point

Likert Scale

The Likert Scale is a widely used tool in surveys and research to measure people’s attitudes, opinions, and perceptions. Developed by Rensis Likert, a psychologist, in 1932, this scale provides a structured format for respondents to express their level of agreement or disagreement with a statement. It is a valuable resource for understanding the sentiments and viewpoints of a target audience, making it an essential component of data collection in various fields.

Understanding Likert Scale Levels

At the core of a Likert Scale are levels that allow respondents to indicate their agreement or disagreement with a statement. The most common Likert Scale has five points, but other variations with more points are also used. Here is a breakdown of the five-point Likert Scale:

Strongly Disagree: This option represents a strong negative response, indicating the highest level of disagreement with the statement.

Disagree: A step above “Strongly Disagree,” this choice signifies disagreement with the statement.

Neutral: The middle point on the scale where the respondent is neither in agreement nor disagreement.

Agree: This indicates agreement with the statement.

Strongly Agree: The highest positive response, signifying strong agreement with the statement.

The seven-point and ten-point Likert Scales offer more nuanced responses, allowing for better differentiation between subtle differences in attitudes.

History and Origin of the Likert Scale

The Likert Scale is named after Rensis Likert, an American social scientist and psychologist. He created the scale to develop a systematic and standardized method for measuring people’s opinions and attitudes quantitatively. His innovation revolutionized the way researchers and surveyors collected data, making it easier to analyze and interpret people’s viewpoints. This approach remains influential in data collection to this day.

Types of Likert Scales

There are different variations of the Likert Scale, primarily categorized by the number of points they offer:

5-Point Likert Scale

The 5-point Likert Scale is the most basic and widely used variation. It provides a simple way to gauge agreement or disagreement with a statement. This simplicity is suitable for surveys with straightforward questions and when brevity is essential.

7-Point Likert Scale

The 7-point Likert Scale offers a middle ground between the simplicity of the 5-point scale and the granularity of the 10-point scale. It allows respondents to express a more nuanced opinion, making it suitable for surveys that require a moderate level of detail in responses.

10-Point Likert Scale

The 10-point Likert Scale is the most detailed variation. It offers a broader range of choices for respondents to express their agreement or disagreement. This scale is ideal for surveys where you need a high level of detail and differentiation in responses.

Applications of Likert Scales

The Likert Scale is employed in various fields, including psychology, market research, education, and customer feedback. Its applications include:

  • Assessing customer satisfaction.
  • Measuring employee engagement and job satisfaction.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of educational programs.
  • Gathering opinions and feedback from the public.

Its versatility makes the Likert Scale a valuable instrument for assessing people’s preferences, satisfaction levels, and opinions.

Read More: How to Design Questionnaire for Research

Advantages of Using Likert Scales

The Likert Scale offers several advantages in the context of surveys and research:

  • Easy to Understand and Administer: Respondents find Likert Scale questions easy to comprehend and answer.
  • Structured Data: The Likert Scale provides structured data that is quantifiable and easily analyzed.
  • Broad Range of Responses: With multiple points on the scale, it allows for a broader range of responses, helping to capture nuanced opinions.
  • Measuring Both Positive and Negative Sentiments: It can effectively measure both positive and negative sentiments, making it versatile for various research objectives.

Disadvantages of Using Likert Scales

While the Likert Scale is a valuable tool, it does have some limitations:

  • Subjective Interpretation: Interpretation of responses can be subjective and vary among researchers.
  • Limited to Opinions and Attitudes: Likert Scales are primarily designed for assessing opinions and attitudes. They may not be suitable for all types of questions, such as those requiring factual responses.
  • Not Suitable for All Questions: Some questions might be better suited for other survey methods, depending on the research goals.

How to Create and Administer a Likert Scale Questionnaire

To create an effective Likert Scale questionnaire, it is essential to craft clear, concise, and unbiased statements. The following are key steps in creating and administering a Likert Scale questionnaire:

Define Your Research Objectives: Clearly define your research objectives and the specific attitudes or opinions you want to measure using the Likert Scale.

Craft Clear Statements: Create clear, unbiased, and concise statements that relate to your research objectives. The clarity of your statements is crucial to obtaining accurate responses.

Determine the Number of Response Points: Decide the number of response points on your Likert Scale (e.g., 5, 7, or 10 points). The choice depends on the level of detail and differentiation you require in responses.

Balance Response Options: Ensure that the response options are balanced, avoiding having more positive or negative choices. A balanced scale provides more accurate data.

Pretest the Questionnaire: Before administering the survey, pretest your questionnaire with a small group to identify any issues with question clarity or response options. This step helps refine the questionnaire for better results.

Administer the Survey: Administer the Likert Scale questionnaire in a user-friendly and convenient manner. Whether through paper-based forms, online surveys, or other mediums, make it easy for respondents to participate.

Analyzing Likert Scale Data

Analyzing Likert Scale data involves summarizing and interpreting the responses collected from respondents. Here are common statistical methods used for this purpose:

Mean: Calculating the mean provides an average score, helping to identify the overall sentiment regarding the statement. A higher mean indicates stronger agreement, while a lower mean suggests disagreement.

Median: The median is the middle value in the dataset. It’s used when data might be skewed or have extreme values. It provides a more robust measure of central tendency, especially if there are outliers in the data.

Standard Deviation: This measures the dispersion of responses around the mean, indicating the level of agreement or disagreement. A high standard deviation suggests greater variability in responses.

These statistical methods provide valuable insights into the respondents’ attitudes and opinions.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Likert Scale

To ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data collected through Likert Scale, it’s important to avoid common mistakes, such as:

Using Leading Questions: Leading questions unintentionally prompt a specific response, biasing the data. Ensure that your statements are unbiased and do not lead respondents toward a particular answer.

Crafting Biased Statements: Biased statements can influence respondents’ choices. Statements should be neutral and not favor any particular viewpoint.

Overloading the Questionnaire: Including too many Likert Scale questions in a single survey can lead to respondent fatigue and less reliable data. Keep the questionnaire concise and focused on your research objectives.

Likert Scale vs. Other Survey Methods

Comparing Likert Scales to other survey methods, such as multiple-choice or open-ended questions, can help in selecting the most suitable approach for your research or survey. While Likert Scales are excellent for assessing opinions and attitudes, other methods might be more appropriate for different types of data collection:

Multiple-Choice Questions: These are useful for collecting categorical data and factual responses. They provide a predetermined set of options for respondents to choose from.

Open-Ended Questions: Open-ended questions allow for qualitative responses, providing rich, descriptive data. They are particularly useful for exploring complex issues.

Likert Scale: Likert Scales are ideal for measuring opinions, attitudes, and perceptions. They offer a structured way to collect quantitative data for analysis.

The choice between these methods depends on your research goals and the type of data you need to gather.

Likert Scale in Research

The Likert Scale plays a vital role in research, allowing researchers to gather quantitative data that can be statistically analyzed. Researchers in various fields use Likert Scales to measure and analyze attitudes, opinions, and perceptions, making it an integral part of the research process:

Psychological Research: Psychologists use Likert Scales to measure emotions, attitudes, and personality traits in their studies.

Market Research: Businesses use Likert Scales to gauge customer satisfaction, brand perception, and preferences.

Educational Research: Educators use Likert Scales to assess student engagement, learning experiences, and the effectiveness of teaching methods.

Social Science Research: Researchers in the social sciences use Likert Scales to study a wide range of topics, from political attitudes to cultural preferences.

The Likert Scale provides a standardized and structured way to collect data that can be analyzed quantitatively, enhancing the rigor and reliability of research outcomes.

Practical Examples of Likert Scale Questions

Here are some practical examples of Likert Scale questions that are commonly used in surveys:

“How satisfied are you with our product/service?”

“To what extent do you agree with the statement: ‘I feel confident about the future’?”

These questions provide a clear insight into respondents’ sentiments and opinions on specific subjects. You can adapt and customize Likert Scale questions to suit your research objectives.

Ethical Considerations in Likert Scale Surveys

Maintaining ethical standards in survey design and administration is crucial to ensure that respondents’ rights and privacy are respected. Key ethical considerations include:

Informed Consent: Obtain informed consent from respondents, clearly explaining the purpose of the survey, how their data will be used, and their rights.

Anonymity: Ensure respondent anonymity when necessary to protect their privacy. In cases where anonymity is not possible, clearly communicate this to the respondents.

Unbiased Questions: Use unbiased, non-leading questions to avoid influencing responses. Biased questions can distort the data and compromise the integrity of the survey.

Adhering to these ethical principles is essential for conducting valid and responsible surveys that respect the rights and dignity of the participants.


In conclusion, the Likert Scale is an invaluable tool for collecting and analyzing data related to people’s opinions and attitudes. Whether you are conducting market research, psychological studies, or gathering customer feedback, the Likert Scale offers a structured and quantifiable way to understand what people think. When used appropriately and ethically, it provides a comprehensive view of respondents’ sentiments and preferences.

Its versatility and ease of use make it a popular choice among researchers and surveyors, allowing them to gain valuable insights into the attitudes and perceptions of their target audience.

Whether it’s a 5-point, 7-point, or 10-point Likert Scale, the flexibility in the number of response points allows you to tailor the scale to your specific research needs, providing a detailed or concise view of respondents’ sentiments.

In an age where data-driven decisions are paramount, the Likert Scale remains a powerful and trusted instrument in the researcher’s toolkit, providing a quantitative lens through which to understand the world.


1. What are Likert Scales, and how do they work?

Likert Scales are a type of survey tool that measures respondents’ attitudes, opinions, or perceptions. They work by presenting a statement or question and asking respondents to indicate their level of agreement or disagreement with that statement on a scale.

2. What is the ideal number of response points on a Likert Scale?

The ideal number of response points depends on your research objectives. A 5-point Likert Scale is simple and easy to use, while a 10-point Likert Scale provides more granularity. Choose the number of points that best suits your research goals and the level of detail you need.

3. Can I create my own Likert Scale questions for a survey?

Yes, you can create your own Likert Scale questions, but it’s essential to craft clear, unbiased, and well-structured statements. Pretesting your questions with a small group can help ensure their effectiveness.

4. Are Likert Scales the same as surveys with multiple-choice questions?

No, Likert Scales and multiple-choice questions are different survey tools. Likert Scales measure attitudes and opinions by allowing respondents to express the strength of their agreement or disagreement with a statement, while multiple-choice questions provide predetermined options for respondents to choose from.

5. Can Likert Scales be used for other types of data, such as factual information?

Likert Scales are primarily designed for assessing opinions and attitudes. They are not suitable for collecting factual information. For factual data, other survey methods like multiple-choice questions or open-ended questions may be more appropriate.

6. How can I analyze Likert Scale data effectively?

Analyzing Likert Scale data involves calculating statistics like mean, median, and standard deviation to understand respondents’ attitudes. The choice of statistical methods depends on your research objectives and the type of data you collect.

7. What are the ethical considerations when using Likert Scales in surveys?

Ethical considerations include obtaining informed consent from respondents, ensuring respondent anonymity when necessary, and using unbiased, non-leading questions. It’s essential to respect respondents’ rights and privacy throughout the survey process.

8. Are Likert Scales suitable for all types of research and surveys?

Likert Scales are versatile and widely used, but they are primarily designed for measuring opinions, attitudes, and perceptions. Depending on your research goals and the type of data you need, other survey methods may be more suitable.

9. Can I customize Likert Scales to fit my research objectives?

Yes, you can customize Likert Scales by creating statements that align with your research objectives. This allows you to collect specific data that relates to the topic or area you are studying.

10. How do I ensure the reliability and validity of Likert Scale data?

To ensure the reliability and validity of Likert Scale data, create clear and unbiased statements, pretest your questionnaire, and administer the survey ethically. Analyzing the data using appropriate statistical methods also contributes to data quality.

11. Are Likert Scales suitable for online surveys and paper-based surveys?

Yes, Likert Scales can be used in both online and paper-based surveys. They offer flexibility and can be adapted to various survey administration methods, making them suitable for a wide range of data collection techniques.

12. Can I combine Likert Scale questions with other types of questions in a single survey?

Yes, it is common to include Likert Scale questions alongside other types of questions in a survey. This approach can provide a comprehensive view of respondents’ opinions, attitudes, and factual responses.

13. How should I interpret Likert Scale data with a neutral response option?

When interpreting Likert Scale data with a neutral response option (e.g., “Neutral” or “Neither Agree nor Disagree”), consider it as a valid choice for respondents who have no clear agreement or disagreement with the statement. Analyze the distribution of responses to understand the overall sentiment.

14. Can Likert Scales be used for longitudinal studies?

Yes, Likert Scales can be employed in longitudinal studies to measure changes in attitudes or opinions over time. Comparing responses from different time points provides insights into how perceptions evolve.

15. Are there cultural considerations when using Likert Scales in international research?

Yes, cultural factors can influence how respondents interpret Likert Scale questions. It’s important to consider cultural nuances and potentially adapt the scale or questions when conducting international research to ensure accurate and meaningful responses.

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