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Use of a midpoint on the Likert scale

The Likert scale contains options such as Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Neutral, Agree, and Strongly Agree.

One of the WORC teams worked on answering the following research questions:

  • Is the Likert scale an ordinal scale or an interval scale, and why does it matter?
  • Would you include a midpoint (e.g., Neutral) or not, and why?
  • What wording would you use for the midpoint (e.g., Neutral, Undecided, No opinion), and why?
  • What impact does inclusion or exclusion of a midpoint have on the validity and reliability of the survey instrument?
  • What evidence-based recommendations does the body of current research provide to the OPWL practitioners regarding the use of a midpoint in response scales ?

The WORC team’s article has been published in Performance Improvement Journal:

Chyung, S. Y., Roberts, K., Swanson, I., & Hankinson, A. (2017). Evidence-based survey design: The use of a midpoint on the Likert scale. Performance Improvement Journal, 56(10), 15 – 23. doi: 10.1002/pfi.21727

WORC researchers who participated in this project are:

The researchers also presented the research findings at the ISPI BABS chapter meeting and 2018 and 2019 ISPI conferences:

Chyung, S. Y., Swanson, I., & Shamsy, J. (2017, August 30). Write a strong survey instrument using evidence-based practices. Presented at ISPI-BABS Chapter meeting.

Chyung, S. Y., Swanson, I., Roberts, K., & Kennedy, M. (2018, April 8). Evidence-based survey design with Likert scales. Presented at ISPI’s Performance Improvement Conference, Seattle, WA.

Swanson, I., Roberts, K., Shamsy, J., & Chyung, S. Y. (2019, April 14). Bring me data! Evidence-based survey design. Presented at ISPI’s Performance Improvement Conference, New Orleans, LA.