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Are you wondering what scale you should use for your online survey? Below you will find a few examples of different scales that may be used in your surveys.

Nominal scale

Nominal scale – as the name implies, is simply some placing of data into categories, without any order or structure. For example in research activities a YES/NO scale is nominal. It has no order and there is no distance between YES and NO. Other examples of nominal scales are nationality, occupation, gender, or place of residence.

Example

How did you learn about SurveyLab online surveys?

  • I participated in an online survey
  • From a friend
  • Link from another web page
  • Web advertisement
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Dichotomous scale

Dichotomous scale – a scale where a variable can have only two values, for example : Yes / No, Male / Female. Dichotomous scale is a special case of nominal scale.

Example

Gender :

  • Male
  • Female

Balanced scale 

Balanced scale – scale on which a number of negative and positive answer choices is equal.

Example

How would you score teamwork functionality in SurveyLab online surveys?

  • Very bad
  • Bad
  • Average
  • Good
  • Very good
     

NOTE. In most cases, a 5-point scale will give your respondents a sufficient range of answer choices and what is important will be easy to understand by your respondents.

Unbalanced scale

Unbalanced scale – a scale on which the number of negative and positive answer choices is different.

Example

How do you find SurveyLab online survey reports capabilities?

  • Bad
  • Average
  • Good
  • Very good
  • Excellent

Likert scale

Likert scale – usually a 5 or 7-point scale used in marketing, market, and sociological research. Scale name comes from its creator Rensis Likert. Respondent is being presented with a list of statements that are scored on a 5 or 7-point scale.

Example

SurveyLab online survey tool user interface is easy to use.

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

Semantic differential scale, Osgood scale

Semantic differential scale, Osgood scale – most often 5 or 7-point scale used to measure attitudes, opinions, occurring or objects. Scale poles (beginning and end) are marked with two opposite words, for example : bad – good, cheap – expensive, … Between those elements is placed a scale that allows respondents to select intermediate options. Respondent selects a category that is close to his evaluation.

Example

In your opinion, Professional subscription plan in SurveyLab online survey tool is :

Cheap – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – Expensive

NOTE. When you create a scale it is good to use „not applicable” or "neither agree nor disagree" answer choice. Thanks to this option respondent will be able to skip a question if it will be difficult for him to understand. This option also increases the survey response rate and data quality. Random or accidental choices are less common.

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