Rating Scales


The self-report method can be used to measure attitudes.  A weakness in measuring attitudes is that we usually only measure how people think they think and not how we actually behave.


One of the most common rating scales is the Likert scale.  A statement is used and the participant decides how strongly they agree or disagree with the statements.   For example the participant decides whether they strongly agree/ agree/ undecided/ disagree/ strongly disagree.


A strength of Likert scales is that they can give us an idea about how strongly a participant feels about something.    This therefore gives more detail than a simple yes no answer.


A further strength is that we can treat the data as quantitative data which is easier to analyse statistically.


However there is a tendency with Likert scales for people to respond towards the middle of the scale perhaps to make them look less extreme.


As with any questionnaire participants may provide the answers that they feel they should and importantly as the data is quantitative it does not provide in depth replies.


Fixed choice questions


Fixed choice questions are phrased so that the respondent has to make a fixed choice answer usually ‘yes’ or ‘no’. 


This type of questionnaire is easy to measure and quantify.   It also forces a participant to not choose a middle option.


However respondents may not feel that their desired response is available and of course the answers are not in-depth.