Rating scale functioning

Low (1988) observes that "any rating scale has three basic functions. The first is that it provides a number of possible answers to a question. The second function of a rating scale is that it permits the questioner to restrict the `conversation' and focus on just those areas relevant to the research being conducted. The third is that it forces all respondents to use the same set of words (or numbers) in their answers. Such standardization allows generalizations to be made within and between groups of respondents. These have a number of implications for the design of good rating scales. The first is that any data from a question open to multiple interpretations is itself uninterpretable. The second is that all values or points on a rating scale should describe the same dimension, say, `goodness' or `importance' but not a mixture of the two."

In our haste to report results, we often ignore the working structure of our rating scale. Here is the scale recently employed in a survey of the motivation of Lithuanian entrepreneurs:

1. Very Important
2. Somewhat Important
3. Not Important
4. Less Important
5. Least Important.

Initial analysis assumed that the scale was hierarchical, but then failed to produce clear conclusions. Inspection of the scale definition and the data disclosed that the respondents perceived the scale to have only 3 categories:

1. Very Important
2. Somewhat Important
3. Not Important,
   Less Important,
   Least Important.

Analysis of this scale was productive.

Joe Roberts
Charles H. Kellstadt Graduate School of Business
DePaul University

Low G.D. (1988) The semantics of questionnaire rating scales. Evaluation and Research in Education 2(2) p. 69-70.

Rating scale functioning. Roberts J. … Rasch Measurement Transactions, 1994, 8:3 p.386

Rasch Publications
Rasch Measurement Transactions (free, online) Rasch Measurement research papers (free, online) Probabilistic Models for Some Intelligence and Attainment Tests, Georg Rasch Applying the Rasch Model 3rd. Ed., Bond & Fox Best Test Design, Wright & Stone
Rating Scale Analysis, Wright & Masters Introduction to Rasch Measurement, E. Smith & R. Smith Introduction to Many-Facet Rasch Measurement, Thomas Eckes Invariant Measurement: Using Rasch Models in the Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences, George Engelhard, Jr. Statistical Analyses for Language Testers, Rita Green
Rasch Models: Foundations, Recent Developments, and Applications, Fischer & Molenaar Journal of Applied Measurement Rasch models for measurement, David Andrich Constructing Measures, Mark Wilson Rasch Analysis in the Human Sciences, Boone, Stave, Yale
in Spanish: Análisis de Rasch para todos, Agustín Tristán Mediciones, Posicionamientos y Diagnósticos Competitivos, Juan Ramón Oreja Rodríguez

To be emailed about new material on www.rasch.org
please enter your email address here:

I want to Subscribe: & click below
I want to Unsubscribe: & click below

Please set your SPAM filter to accept emails from Rasch.org

www.rasch.org welcomes your comments:

Your email address (if you want us to reply):


ForumRasch Measurement Forum to discuss any Rasch-related topic

Go to Top of Page
Go to index of all Rasch Measurement Transactions
AERA members: Join the Rasch Measurement SIG and receive the printed version of RMT
Some back issues of RMT are available as bound volumes
Subscribe to Journal of Applied Measurement

Go to Institute for Objective Measurement Home Page. The Rasch Measurement SIG (AERA) thanks the Institute for Objective Measurement for inviting the publication of Rasch Measurement Transactions on the Institute's website, www.rasch.org.

Coming Rasch-related Events
Oct. 6 - Nov. 3, 2023, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Facets), www.statistics.com
Oct. 12, 2023, Thursday 5 to 7 pm Colombian timeOn-line workshop: Deconstruyendo el concepto de validez y Discusiones sobre estimaciones de confiabilidad SICAPSI (J. Escobar, C.Pardo) www.colpsic.org.co
June 12 - 14, 2024, Wed.-Fri. 1st Scandinavian Applied Measurement Conference, Kristianstad University, Kristianstad, Sweden http://www.hkr.se/samc2024
Aug. 9 - Sept. 6, 2024, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Many-Facet Rasch Measurement (E. Smith, Facets), www.statistics.com


The URL of this page is www.rasch.org/rmt/rmt83q.htm

Website: www.rasch.org/rmt/contents.htm