EDUR 9131
Advanced Educational Research

Likert Step Descriptions for Five Steps
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The typical Likert scaled item uses the descriptions Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree, as illustrated below.

  Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Agree nor Disagree/Undecided Agree Strongly Agree
Statement Here 1 2 3 4 5

The middle category, neither agree nor disagree/undecided, is sometimes believed to be problematic since it does not appear to fit the scale. Other options for labeling the middle category include:

"a bit of both"

"need more information"

"about 50:50"

In addition, some argue that a 7-step scale provides more reliability, and research indicates this to be true. One easy method for extending the 5 point scale to 7 points is to anchor each end with "very." For example, "Very strongly disagree" and "Very strongly agree."

An option is to have only three descriptors, such as:

  Very Poor   Average   Very Good
Statement Here 1 2 3 4 5

Below are a number of step descriptors for a five-step item.

1 2 3 4 5
Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent
Very Poor Poor Moderate Good Very Good
Very Easy Easy Medium Hard Very Hard
Never Seldom Sometimes Often Always
0 - 10% of the time 10-40% 40-60% 60-90% 90-100%
Rarely or Never Infrequently Occasionally Frequently Very Frequently/Almost Always [or Most or All of the Time]
Not At All To a Small Degree To a Moderate Degree To a Considerable Degree To a Great Degree
Not at all Satisfied A Little Satisfied Moderately Satisfied Satisfied Very Satisfied
Not at all Helpful A Little Helpful Somewhat Helpful Very Helpful Extremely Helpful
once a term or less about once a month about every week most lessons every lesson
all the time most of the time often occasionally never
Unsatisfactory Poor So-so Good Outstanding
Completey dissatisfied Somewhat dissatisfied Moderately Satisfied Satisfied Completely satisfied
disfavor tend to disfavor neither favor nor disfavor tend to favor favor
insufficient somewhat insufficient neither insufficient nor sufficient somewhat sufficient sufficient
much more more about the same less much less
Seldom 0-25% Sometimes 25-50% Often 50-75% Most of the time 75-100%  
never rarely sometimes often always

Copyright 1999, Bryan W. Griffin

Last revised on 20 May, 2007 08:58 PM