Good Survey Design: Using the Likert Scale

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The Likert scale is a great way to collect data based on a five, seven, or nine-point rating scale. Rensis Likert (pronounced “lick-urt”) invented the scale as a scientific method to measure attitudes.

The Likert scale measures attitudes from one extreme to the other. You’ve no doubt participated in a survey where you were asked to respond based on the Likert scale. Here’s a sample Likert scale:

1. Strongly disagree
2. Disagree
3. Neither agree nor disagree
4. Agree
5. Strongly agree

Here’s what it looks like in a survey:

Sample Likert Scale for use in surveys

Here’s how to add a Likert-based question to your survey:

1. Login to your Polldaddy dashboard.
2. Select “Create a new survey” under the Surveys dropdown menu.
3. Give your survey a name and click on the blue “Save” button at the bottom of the page.
4. On the left-hand side of the survey design area, you’ll see an option for “Matrix/Likert.” Click on this option and drag it into the question area:

The menu item for Polldaddy's Matrix-Likert question type

5. Now, on the dropdown just below the question area, select “Single choice with rating (Likert)” from the menu:

The Likert dropdown menu in Polldaddy

6. At Polldaddy, we love pie, and we can’t get enough of it. So we added our pie question in the top textbox on the left, and input the Likert scale items on the right. Our little survey only contains one question, so we left the remaining text boxes blank, but you could add as many questions as you like:

7. Once you’ve got your wording just right, click on the blue “Done Editing” button at the bottom of the page to see what your survey design looks like. If you need to tweak it, click on the “Edit” button. If you’re ready to release your survey into the wild, click on the blue “Finish & Embed” button on the top right hand of the survey design area.

You can embed your survey as a pop-up on your website, embed it inline as part of your website content, create a direct link to the survey you can use anywhere you wish, collect responses via your Ipad or set up an e-mail list and send it out via e-mail to your participants.

All this talk of pie is making us hungry! Please take our survey:
Pie! My oh my!

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8 comments on “Good Survey Design: Using the Likert Scale

  1. It's great and so intuitive to use.. I created a survey before reading the instructions and it worked out fine!
  2. Thanks for your kind words--we really appreciate it!
  3. Hi! I'm new to all of this polling & surveying for a site of my own. But I'm learning a lot about them from your instructional blogs. They're great--very helpful! Thanks for creating them. Peace :)
  4. Yeah, I tried that yesterday, didn't work. But this morning it worked, thank you !
  5. Hi Adam, you can add more columns by clicking on the +Add Column button while editing the Matrix / Likert question.
  6. Is it not possible to have more than 5 coulmn choises. I wanna do a rating scale of 1-10
  7. Hi Greg, I don't understand what you mean. Can you contact support with a link to the survey?
  8. Do you know how to get it to appear on an iPad screen without making people scroll over? For example having strongly disagree appear like strongly disagree 0 rather then strongly disagree 0
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