Likert item question

The Likert item question type provides the participant with a Likert item to answer the question (Figure 1). This question type has the following options:

  • Answer required
  • Show answer required
  • Lower bound label
  • Upper bound label

Figure 1. Example Likert item (no bounding labels)

Likert item vs Likert scale

A Likert scale is the sum of responses on several Likert items. There is often confusion in the literature between Likert item and Likert scale. To clarify, a single question with a range of quantitative values from which to select an answer is a Likert item (Figure 1), whereas the sum (or scaling) of responses from a number of Likert items is a Likert scale.

Well-designed Likert items

A well-designed Likert item must exhibit:

  • Symmetry: the item contains an equal number of positive and negative values equally distributed around a neutral or zero value. In the above Likert item (Figure 1), the neutral value is Neither agree nor disagree. Omitting the neutral/zero value as an option is described as a forced choice method.
  • Balance: the quantitative distance between items is equal. An equal distribution allows for interpolation and averaging for scales.

Note: In Psychstudio, a Likert item can be used for any quantitative rating scale even if it is not strictly well-designed (such as a pain rating from 1 to 10).

Editing the question

Click Edit in the top left corner of the question (Figure 2). From here you can edit the question text as well as the answer options and style. To save your changes, click Save in the top right corner of the question editor. To cancel your changes, click Cancel

Figure 2. Open question editor

Adding a value to the Likert item

Answer options (Figure 3) consist of a code and an option (which is used as the label). To add an option, click New option set a code and an option and then click Add. Remember, to also click Save in the top right corner of the question editor to save your changes.

Figure 3. Answer options

Removing a value from the Likert item

To remove an answer option, click Delete on the corresponding option in the answer options table (Figure 3). Remember, to also click Save in the top right corner of the question editor to save your changes.

Setting scale bounds

Setting lower and upper bounds labels is done by filling in the bounds table (Figure 4) and hitting Save on the bounds table. Remember to also click Save in the top right corner of the question editor to save your changes.

Figure 4. Bounds settings