Have you ever wondered about how the questions in a psychometric test in an interview are going to help you get recruited?

Or you might have taken an MBTI Test for just fun or to know your personality type. So how do you think these simple questionnaires can get you the result you are looking for?

If you wish to know how then let us get started with when who, and why.

Rensis Likert was an American psychologist who dedicated his life to bring more easy ways to understand human behaviors and their likings towards various things. In 1932, he introduced a rating system named after his own identity called Likert Scale. It is a ranking style adopted to know a person’s opinions by asking them to answer some statements accordingly to the subject. Commonly used style provides the statement with five options as “Agree, Slightly Agree, Neutral, Slightly Disagree, and Disagree”. Sometimes they may give seven(odd) options or four (even) options. (rarely used).

To comprehend the Likert Scale let us take an example of the topic (say)

“ I usually like my room to be tidy all day.”

For odd ordered scale:

  • Satisfied
  • Neutral
  • Dissatisfied

For even ordered scale:

  • Agree
  • Disagree

There are also other different ways to employ these questions based on the survey. One of them involves including a statement in the options or using a pointing system as per how close your opinion is with Agreeing or Disagreeing. More the number of options provided more is the possibility to obtain an exact feeling of the person.

It is, however, not the only ranking system known to be existing in the world but its simple structure and facile way of conducting a survey are what makes it stands out from others. It neither involves complex statements nor uses mean median techniques to evaluate the answers of the targeted audience.

This kind of Ordinal Scale is adapted in educational sectors for the survey on the performance of manager or team in a company as well as in recruiting process. Everyone using a digital platform for shopping or playing games might have come across a series of questions stating “Share your experience with us” with multiple options like “satisfied”, “neutral” or “dissatisfied”. They may even sometimes include a numerical scale from 1 to 5 or 1 to 10.

There is no certain best way to represent or a way of using the Likert scale. While implementing this one-directional scaling system one needs to frame unbiased and clear statements regarding the chosen argument. Since the respondents pick their choice that closely interprets their view or perspective, the researcher can embody short sentences as options and thus easily convert the survey results into graphs after analyzing them. It, of course, eliminates and offers the best replacement to traditional fill-in-the-blank sentences or leave comment options where the participants need to look up for the words to describe their opinions.

However, it is still an arguable discussion when it comes to deciding whether to keep or omit the middle ground / “I neither agree nor disagree” option as a neutral answer to the survey. It is most likely of the respondents to choose this kind of alternative when they are unable to get the essence of the subject and thus choose it as a safe answer to express their perspective. According to the survey, when the participants were provided with options like “most likely, It depends, Less likely” the majority has registered their answers as “It depends” showing a neutral space. The one who designs the questionnaires must know when to include ‘I don’t know’, ‘Undecided’, ‘Not sure’, ‘Confused’, ‘Need more information’ themed options. They could bring failure to their survey if used everywhere and every time because the respondent may not try to think for their appropriate view and randomly pick the middle ground as an answer without properly utilizing their chance. If more people opt for this option, it shows the inability of the participants to comprehend the matter.

The survey results of the Likert scale are both qualitative and quantitative and considered to have equal distance between the options provided as they follow a pattern from either less to more or more to less. Thus it maintains the purity of the feelings of participants. The marketing department of various companies includes an ordered continuum response system in their surveys to receive feedback from their sub-ordinates. The Hiring Department of the colleges, as well as elite companies, opt for the Likert Scale-based psychometric process as one of the qualifying rounds to handpick students based on their tastes and personality traits.

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