Survey Scales: Which Response Scale Works Best for You?

, Survey Scales: Which Response Scale Works Best for You?


Surveys have become a common model of collecting information directly from respondents. Researchers and business owners use different models of collecting information that can help them suggest changes in various aspects of their daily operations. Survey scales are one of the most common models of collecting information that can be used in decision-making.


Survey scales are commonly used when conducting surveys due to the fact that they are effective and save a lot of time. If you have plans to collect massive amounts of information from your target market, survey scales offer you a simple approach that you can utilize. This is the simplest approach that you can use to collect both qualitative and quantitative insights from your respondents.


Initially, most researchers used traditional mechanisms of collecting survey data from their target market. The invention of survey scales has greatly changed how market surveys are conducted and the accuracy of data collected at the end of the process. If you are working in an environment that deals with data, you must have heard of a survey scale during data collection. Even though there are different survey scales available, only a few are reliable in data collection.


When you want to conduct a market survey, you need to start by identifying a suitable response scale that can help you collect reliable information from your respondents. This means you need to learn more about the different types of survey scales available and how they participate in the data collection process.


What is a Survey Scale?


A survey scale is an organized arrangement of different survey responses that enable the researcher to access valuable insights easily. The scale incorporates a wide range of numerical and verbal responses that the respondent can choose from depending on the nature of the survey questions or statements. The scale is meant to make the respondent’s work easier by picking on specific responses that reciprocate with their understanding of the questions or statements.



It helps the respondent to quantify their responses and express their feelings toward the topic of discussion. The scale operates by assigning values to specific responses outlined based on the nature of the survey. A survey scale helps to describe feelings, perceptions, interests and the basic understanding of the respondent towards a certain topic of discussion. This is the best approach that business owners can use when collecting information about how customers perceive their brand.


The scale enables the respondents to communicate their side of the story in the best way possible, which can help the researcher to acquire the information they need. Instead of the respondent providing vague or ambiguous responses, they can easily pick on the responses outlined on the survey scale that resonate with what they feel is right. The survey scale enables you to measure responses that cannot be quantified, giving you a clear picture of what the respondent feels about a particular organization.


When conducting a survey, you need to identify some of the best survey scales that can work better for you. Below is a comprehensive list of some of the best options available to easily adopt and use to collect accurate information from your respondents.


  • Rating Scale


A rating scale is the most common type of skin used by most market researchers to collect feedback from their market audiences. The scale gives the respondent enough room to match qualitative data with various assertions, features or products. The respondent is only required to pick on a specific point on the scale that answers the question presented. In addition, a rating scale is divided into different categories, whereby there is an ordinal scale and an interval scale.

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The ordinal rating scale is used to present data in a more organized manner, such as from an ascending to descending order, among others. The interval rating scale also presents data orderly, although this scale allows you to measure the data intervals. What makes the two different is the measurable aspect between all of them. Note that there are different types of rating scales that operate in different ways depending on the nature of the survey you intend to conduct.


  • Ranking Scale


The ranking scale is also considered a close-ended scale used in conducting a survey requiring individuals to give their preferences and interests. This scale is mostly used in scenarios whereby the respondent is given different options and outlines some of the reasons behind their choices. When using this scale, you need to understand that there is a criterion that needs to be followed for you to make the right choices.


This is the best scale to use when conducting market research and you want to understand how consumers perceive your brand. It can help you to gather feedback about the features of your products and services, enabling you to discover areas that require changes. The Likert scale falls under this category, making it a more effective option.


  • Dichotomous Scale


A dichotomous scale is a survey scale that only offers two options. The options lie on two different ends that allow the respondent to choose their preferred option. When using a dichotomous scale to collect survey responses, the respondent cannot choose a neutral option. This is contributed by the fact that you either choose one option or the other, eliminating the availability of any other options.

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This survey scale is mostly used when you want to collect precise information from your respondents. A dichotomous scale is unsuitable if you are looking for a route to dig deeper into your market audience and collect useful information. The scale only allows the respondent to choose one answer, making it difficult for you to uncover more underlying information behind the curtains.


Bottom Line


Conducting a survey can be the most challenging task, especially if you are new in the field. However, you can easily convert the technical aspect into an exciting activity that takes the shortest time possible and demands less effort. Survey scales can help you save a lot of time and effort conducting in-depth market surveys that enable you to access valuable information about your organization. Regardless of the type of survey you are conducting, you can easily deploy this mechanism to collect sufficient information from your market audience.

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