Common Rating Scales to Use when Writing Questions

Sean MahoneyOne of the most frequent mistakes I see when reviewing questionnaires are poorly written scales. Novice survey authors often create their own scale rather than using the appropriate common scale. It's hard to write a good scale; instead you are better off rewording your question slightly so that you can use one of the following.



Acceptability Not at all acceptable, Slightly acceptable, Moderately acceptable, Very acceptable, Completely acceptable
Agreement Completely disagree, Disagree, Somewhat disagree, Neither agree nor disagree, Somewhat agree, Agree, Completely agree
Appropriateness Absolutely inappropriate, Inappropriate, Slightly inappropriate, Neutral, Slightly appropriate, Appropriate, Absolutely appropriate
Awareness Not at all aware, Slightly aware, Moderately aware, Very aware, Extremely aware
Beliefs Not at all true of what I believe, Slightly true of what I believe, Moderately true of what I believe, Very true of what I believe, Completely true of what I believe
Concern Not at all concerned, Slightly concerned, Moderately concerned, Very concerned, Extremely concerned
Familiarity Not at all familiar, Slightly familiar, Moderately familiar, Very familiar, Extremely familiar
Frequency Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Often, Always
Importance Not at all important, Slightly important, Moderately important, Very important, Extremely important
Influence Not at all influential, Slightly influential, Moderately influential, Very influential, Extremely influential
Likelihood Not at all likely, Slightly likely, Moderately likely, Very likely, Completely likely
Priority Not a priority, Low priority, Medium priority, High priority, Essential
Probability Not at all probable, Slightly probable, Moderately probable, Very probable, Completely probable
Quality Very poor, Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent
Reflect Me Not at all true of me, Slightly true of me, Moderately true of me, Very true of me, Completely true of me
Satisfaction (bipolar) Completely dissatisfied, Mostly dissatisfied, Somewhat dissatisfied, Neither satisfied or dissatisfied, Somewhat satisfied, Mostly satisfied, Completely satisfied
Satisfaction (unipolar) Not at all satisfied, Slightly satisfied, Moderately satisfied, Very satisfied, Completely satisfied

This list follows Krosnick's advice to use 5-point unipolar scales and 7-point bipolar scales.

Let me know any of your favorite scales that I omitted. And, learn more about our Enterprise Feedback Management solutions by viewing this video.

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