Scaling Techniques: Likert Scale, Semantic Differential Scale

30/01/2021 0 By indiafreenotes

Likert Scale

The Likert scale is a five (or seven) point scale which is used to allow the individual to express how much they agree or disagree with a particular statement.

A Likert scale assumes that the strength/intensity of an attitude is linear, i.e. on a continuum from strongly agree to strongly disagree, and makes the assumption that attitudes can be measured.

Strongly Disagree Disagree Undecided Agree Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4 5

Likert Scales have the advantage that they do not expect a simple yes / no answer from the respondent, but rather allow for degrees of opinion, and even no opinion at all.

Therefore, quantitative data is obtained, which means that the data can be analyzed with relative ease.

Offering anonymity on self-administered questionnaires should further reduce social pressure, and thus may likewise reduce social desirability bias.

Semantic Differential Scale

A semantic differential scale is a survey or questionnaire rating scale that asks people to rate a product, company, brand, or any ‘entity’ within the frames of a multi-point rating option. These survey answering options are grammatically on opposite adjectives at each end. For example, love-hate, satisfied-unsatisfied, and likely to return-unlikely to return with intermediate options in between.

Advantages of semantic differential

  • The semantic differential has outdone the other scales like the Likert scale in vitality, rationality, or authenticity.
  • It has an advantage in terms of language too. There are two polar adjectives for the factor to be measured and a scale connecting both these polar.
  • It is more advantageous than a Likert scale. The researcher declares a statement and expects respondents to either agree or disagree with that.
  • Respondents can express their opinions about the matter in hand more accurately and entirely due to the polar options provided in the semantic differential.
  • In other question types like the Likert scale, respondents have to indicate the level of agreement or disagreement with the mentioned topic. The semantic differential scale offers extremely opposite adjectives on each end of the range. The respondents can precisely explain their feedback that researchers use for making accurate judgments from the survey.


  1. Slider rating scale: Questions that feature a graphical slider give the respondent a more interactive way to answer the semantic differential scale question.
  2. Non-slider rating scale: The non-slider question uses typical radio buttons for a more traditional survey look and feel. Respondents are more used to answering.
  3. Open-ended questions: These questions give the users ample freedom to express their emotions about your organization, products, or services.
  4. Ordering: The ordering questions offer the scope to rate the parameters that the respondents feel are best or worst according to their personal experiences.
  5. Satisfaction rating: The easiest and eye-catchy semantic differential scale questions are the satisfaction rating questions.