I am designing a survey that will have to be administered over the phone. While I have used 7-point Likerts on many occasions, saying "On a scale of one to seven" out loud makes it seem, suddenly, extremely unintuitive. If I were to ask a friend something, I would ask on a scale of 1 to 10.

I understand the issues behind having an even number of points, but is there any other strong reason not to ask 1:10? My own sense is that the simple familiarity of the scale would allow for more reliable answers, and I have no desire to list (each time) "Not at all, a little, somewhat ..." which I anticipate will simply exhaust my already time-strapped and generally no-nonsense population. 1:10 is fast, and low burden. Or will that familiarity itself result in biases?

  • $\begingroup$ Note that this is a bit of two questions in one: 1) how many items do you need in a scale, and 2) is using a 10 item scale more intuitive than a 7 item scale for listeners? For instance, the quickest method for the listener may be to make all of your questions true/false, but you may not want to go that route for the loss of precision it gives $\endgroup$ – mflo-ByeSE May 5 '17 at 20:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.