Definition: A Likert Scale is a scale used to measure the attitude wherein the respondents are asked to indicate the level of agreement or disagreement with the statements related to the stimulus objects.
The Likert Scale was named after its developer, Rensis Likert. It is typically a five response category scale ranging from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree”. The purpose of a Likert scale is to identify the attitude of people towards the given stimulus objects by asking them the extent to which they agree or disagree with them.
Often, the respondents are presented with questionnaires containing the set of statements to rate their attitude towards the objects. For example, the respondents might be asked to rate their purchase experience with shoppers stop by assigning the score as (1= strongly disagree, 2= disagree, 3= neither agree nor disagree, 4= agree, 5= strongly agree) to the series of statements given below:
- Shoppers stop sell high-quality merchandise.
- I like to shop from shoppers stop.
- It offers several credit schemes.
- It charges fair prices.
- I like the way shoppers stop advertises its products.
The data obtained from the Likert Scale are typically treated as the interval. Thus, we can say that Likert scale possesses description, order and distance characteristics. Description means the unique labels or tags designated to each value of the scale; Order means the relative position of the descriptor and Distance implies that the absolute differences between the descriptors is known and can be expressed in units.
For the purpose of analysis, each statement is allotted a numerical score ranging from either 1 to 5 or -2 to +2. The analysis could be done item wise, or a total score can be computed by summing up all the items for each respondent. One of the advantages of a Likert scale is that it is easy to construct and administer.
The major limitation of this scaling technique is that it is time-consuming and requires much more time as compared to other itemized scaling techniques. This is because each respondent is required to read every statement given in a questionnaire before assigning a numerical value to it. Another limitation of a Likert scale is that it could be misunderstood at times, especially when the responses are unfavorable.
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