Likert Data: Can You Handle it?

As a contributor at one of the most often seen topics of posters’ questions is that of Likert data.  The problem with these questions is there generally is no “correct” answer.  The field has been debating the treatment of Likert and Likert type data for 80 years.  The answer to these questions is to become informed and make an appropriate decision based on data, measurement and the inferences being made.

I recently wrote a paper regarding Likert data for a psychometrics class that I figured I’d share for those wanting to understand how a researcher should treat Likert data.  The reference list is also a valuable source of information.

On the Treatment of Likert Data.pdf


A 2008 paper discussing the treatment of categorical data not used in the above paper (click this)



Filed under Likert data

2 responses to “Likert Data: Can You Handle it?

  1. Sean

    Thanks for sharing this paper! I found it to be a very helpful summary of the issue. Have you considered publishing this? Or at least putting it up some place like figShare? Perhaps there are other good reviews that you might point to, if so I’d love to know about them as I am not aware. If not, you should definitely get this in wider circulation.

  2. Hi,

    I’m seeking advice on how to analysis percentages in my 5point Likert scale and I chanced upon your blog. The information has been very helpful! However, I’d like to if there’s any tests I can run to test for significance? For example, how would I know if there is statistical significance in the difference between the number of people who answered 5 for an item and the number of people who answered 3.

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