What is the Likert Scale?

Definition: The Likert scale is a statistical technique that measures qualitative variables through a quantitative scale. It is a way to assign numerical values to opinions or attitudes expressed about a given topic.

What Does Likert Scale Mean?

This method was created by Rensis Likert in 1932 and it is widely implemented in surveys to determine the degree of acceptance, opinion or likelihood of qualitative variables being measured. By employing numerical scales, mostly scores from 1 to 5 or 1 to 7, the researcher can analyze different metrics to understand patterns of behavior evidenced in the data, which would be impossible to do if the qualitative data wasn’t organized numerically.

The scales can be classified as agreement scales (strongly disagree to strongly agree), frequency scales (very often to never), quality scales (very good to very bad), likelihood scales (definitely to never) and importance scales (very important to unimportant). Likert scales are frequently employed in market research projects to gauge customer’s preferences, tastes, opinions and attitudes towards a given product, service or company. By using scales, richer information can be obtained from the customers, since the answers are more intuitive and allow the individual being questioned to give a more accurate opinion about what he actually feels.

Example

A company called Longer Life LLC. manufactures power banks for mobile phones and is currently working on a market research project to understand its customer’s actual needs. In order to do so, they need to measure many qualitative variables like battery quality, power source availability during the day and the phone’s degree of usage during the day. The researcher decided to employ likert scales to measure these qualitative data.

In the case of battery quality the question will be ¿How would you grade the quality of your battery? 1=Very low quality 2=Low Quality 3=Average Quality 4=High quality 5=Very high quality. By measuring the average quality of the customer’s batteries the company can understand how much a power bank is actually needed and how many charges a day the person might require.