Survey Scale

Survey Scale definition:

In common survey usage, 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.  More properly a scale is a composite score of a number of survey questions that each measure the same attribute.


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Types of survey scales:

- Dichotomous Scales

A dichotomous scale is a two-point scale which presents options that are absolutely opposite each other. This type of response scale does not give the respondent an opportunity to be neutral on his answer in a question.


Yes - No
True - False
Fair - Unfair
Agree - Disagree

- Rating Scales

Three-point, five-point, and seven-point scales are all included in the umbrella term “rating scale”. A rating scale provides more than two options, in which the respondent can answer in neutrality over a question being asked.


- 1-10 scale
- 1-7 scale
- Likert scale (1-5)

- Semantic Differential Scales

A semantic differential scale is only used in specialist surveys in order to gather data and interpret based on the connotative meaning of the respondent’s answer. It uses a pair of clearly opposite words, where the respondent is asked to rate an object, person or any concept by putting a mark on one of the spaces along each dimension.

Examples of an semantic differential scale:

Inexpensive [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] Expensive

Effective [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] Ineffective