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Session 136 Developing Effective Surveys: Stuck in the Middle: The Use and Interpretation of Mid-Points in Surveys  

11-06-2009 11:23

Likert type scales are common in survey research. Research suggests Likert type scales should utilize four to seven response options. What seems more a matter of taste is the use of a mid-point in Likert type scales. Researchers can use an even number of response options forcing a choice or use an odd number of responses allowing neutrality. The authors conducted a study comparing different response options on the same set of 28 attitudinal questions. Participants answered questions using one of the following: a 4 point scale (forced choice), a 5 point scale (3 represented 'Neither'), or a 4 point scale with an option of 'No Opinion' after the scale. Results indicated 25% of item means were significantly affected by different response options. Additionally, 'neither' was chosen significantly more often than 'no opinion' on 80% of the items. Implications of this study on response choices in evaluation will be discussed.

#QuantitativeMethods-TheoryandDesign #ResearchonEvaluation #Evaluation2009 #2009Conference

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