Survey Scales

Survey scales are the indexes that measure those types of variables that are not directly observed but are instead inferred from the other variables that are directly measured.

Likert Scale

One of these types of scales, called the Likert scale, is the most popular type of scale.  Likert scale questions require survey respondents to select their level of agreement to a statement.  For example, response categories may be responses such as ‘strongly agree,’ ‘agree,’ ‘don’t know,’ or ‘disagree.’

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Guttman Scale

Another scale is called the Guttman scale.  In this scale, the items are made in a single dimensional series.  This is so that the response given by the respondent for a certain item predicts the responses for all of the previous items in that series.  For example, according to the assumption of this kind of scale, if the respondent responds to a particular question in a positive manner, then it is predicted that the respondent will also respond to a less complex or a less sensitive question in a positive manner.

Mokken Scale

There is another type of scale, called a Mokken scale.  Since Guttman scales are quite rigid and determinable, Mokken scales are available to do what Guttman scales cannot.  The major difference between these two types of scales is that the Guttman scales are deterministic, while the Mokken scales are probabilistic.  In the previous example, according to the assumption of Mokken scales, if the respondent responds to a particular question in a positive manner, then there will be a significantly greater probability that the respondent will respond to a less complex question in a positive way as well.

Proximity Scale

In another type of scale, called a proximity scale, if a respondent responds in a positive manner on a certain item, it is not necessarily assumed that the respondent will respond positively to a less difficult question. Such a scale implies that if the respondent answers a difficult question, then that respondent might not wish to answer the less difficult question (some reasons for this include the respondent not being in a good mood, or some other psychological reason).