Essay on Research Methods

Speaking about a Likert scale I would like to note that it is a special type of questionnaire format used in various surveys around the globe. Likert scale strives to obtain proper responses form the respondents assessing their level of agreement to each of a list of statements. Likert scale had been developed in the mid 1930s. One should remember that Likert scale is somewhat similar to Thurstone and Guttman scaling by being unidimentional. I will add that just like all scaling methods, Likert scale works this way. The first step should be to define what one needs to measure in the survey. As one already noted Likert scale is one-dimensional in nature, thus one needs to apply this scale only to the one-dimensional concepts used in questionnaires.

In order to better understand the way Likert scale works, lets take a look at a sample five-point Likert scale that would measure an attitude (Donnelly, 104):

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  1. Strongly agree with the statement
  2. Agree with the statement
  3. Neither agree nor disagree with the statement
  4. Disagree with the statement
  5. Strongly disagree with the statement

The results obtained from the Likert scale show an ordinal level of respondent’s preference. As one can see from above, the numbers (1 through 5) do not present any mathematical importance yet rather serve as indicators of one-dimensional expression (Jaisingh, 238).

Speaking about Open-ended questions one needs to understand that these questions also do not have any precision and thus are used to elicit approximate answers. Open ended questions are used to obtain personal opinion which might surpass the number of possible answers used in other types of questionnaires (e.g. Multiple-choice questions). Open ended questions usually provide some empty space where a person will have an ability to write an answer. The answer can contain any number of words or sentences, space permitting (Rumsey, 90).

Speaking about Multiple-choice questions, I would like to note that these are the questions providing an ability to collect opinion from respondents on various topics, in uni- or multi-dimensional concepts. Typically one uses letters (A, B, C…etc) or numbers (1, 2, 3, etc) and a set of questions comprising a set of various possible answers that respondents of given survey will need to specify Unlike Likert scale that speaks about one-dimensional concept, multiple-choice scale speaks about multi-dimensional concept. Unlike Open-ended questions that gives a respondent freedom to create an answer, multiple-choice scale already presents answers to be picked by the respondent.

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