What Data Type Is Likert Scale?


Heather Bennett

What Data Type Is Likert Scale?

A Likert scale is a commonly used rating scale in surveys and questionnaires to measure people’s attitudes, opinions, behaviors, and preferences. It is named after its creator, psychologist Rensis Likert. The scale consists of a series of statements or questions to which respondents indicate their level of agreement or disagreement on a numerical scale.

The Likert Scale

The Likert scale typically includes a set of statements that respondents are asked to rate on a five-point or seven-point scale. The response options usually range from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree” or “Very Satisfied” to “Very Dissatisfied”.

The data generated from a Likert scale is ordinal data. In statistics, data can be classified into four different levels: nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio. Each level represents different properties and characteristics of the data.

Ordinal Data

Ordinal data is a categorical form of data that has an inherent order or ranking. It represents the relative position or order of the items being measured but does not provide information about the magnitude of differences between them.

For example, in a Likert scale question like “On a scale of 1-5, how satisfied are you with our product?”, the response options are ordered from least satisfied (1) to most satisfied (5). The ordinal nature of the data allows us to determine whether one respondent is more satisfied than another but does not allow us to quantify the difference in satisfaction levels between respondents.

Using Likert Scale Data

The analysis of Likert scale data often involves calculating descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages for each response category. This provides an overview of the distribution of responses across the different levels of agreement or satisfaction.

In addition to descriptive statistics, Likert scale data can also be used in inferential statistical analyses, such as chi-square tests or analysis of variance (ANOVA), to determine if there are significant differences between groups or to examine relationships between variables.

Visualizing Likert Scale Data

When presenting Likert scale data, it is important to choose appropriate visualizations that effectively communicate the distribution and patterns of responses. One commonly used visualization is a bar chart or column chart, where the height of each bar represents the frequency or percentage of responses for each category.

Additionally, stacked bar charts can be used to compare the distribution of responses across different groups or subgroups. This allows for easy comparison and identification of any significant differences.


The Likert scale is a valuable tool for measuring attitudes and opinions in surveys and questionnaires. It provides ordinal data that can be analyzed using various statistical techniques. By properly visualizing and analyzing Likert scale data, researchers and analysts can gain insights into people’s preferences, behaviors, and perceptions.

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