Continuous scale definition
On a continuous scale, respondents rate the objects by placing a mark at the appropriate position on a line that runs from one extreme of the variable to the other. The form of the continuous scale may vary considerably.
A continuous scale should not be confused with a continuous sum. A continuous sum lets the respondent give a score to items that add up to a predefined total. This question type allows respondents to add a certain weight to each item.
Continuous scale example
Other scale types
- Survey scales - a scale is an ordered series of response options, presented verbally or numerically from which the respondents select to indicate their level of feeling about the measured attribute.
- Guttman scale - an ordinal scale type where statements are arranged in a hierarchical order so that someone who agrees with one item will also agree with lower-order, easier, less extreme items.
- Likert scale - Questions utilizing a Likert scale generally present the respondent with a statement and asks for his/her level of agreement with the statement by selecting a point on the scale. These points have often verbal statements or numbers attached to them. The scale should be balanced between positive and negative agreement options.
- Interval scale - An interval scale has intervals which each have the same interpretation and do not have a "true" zero point, therefore it is not possible to make statements about how many times higher one score is than another. One unit on the scale represents the same magnitude on the trait or characteristic being measured across the whole range of the scale.
- Verbal scale - a verbal scale also referred to as a “word statement” or “scale expression”, is where the response options are presented to the respondent using words, whether spoken or written.
- Discrete scale - Discrete data, like counts, are numeric data that have a finite number of possible values and can only be whole numbers. Discrete data arise from observations that can only take certain numerical values. Fractions are meaningless. In some situations, mathematical functions or calculations are not possible either.
- Forced choice scale - A forced-choice scale (also known as an ipsative scale) is a rating scale that does not allow for an Undecided, Neutral, Doesn't know, or No opinion response.