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Scaled-Response Questions

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Scaled-Response Questions

Scaled-response questions are questions that have a predefined answer list with options that are incrementally related to each other with the purpose of measuring the intensity to which a respondent feels toward or about something. For example, you may want to ask your customers how they rate the taste of a supermarket’s own brand tomato soup; the scaled-response list might be on a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 means they do not like the taste at all, and 7 means they completely love the taste. Scaled questions can be based on any number of responses, but are often 5, 7 or 10 point scales.

There are different theories about which ‘length of scale’ to use to gain the best accuracy, but the general consensus is that you should try and use, wherever possible, the same number of points for all scaled-response questions in a particular research project.

Another example of a scaled-response question is satisfaction – these question types are used a lot in market research, particular in customer satisfaction studies. You may want to ask one or more questions based on the same scale, for example, get respondents to rate how satisfied they were with both their in store and telephone customer experience – this might be on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is completely unsatisfied and 5 is completely satisfied.

Another scaled-response question used a lot is recommendation; this asks respondents how likely they are to recommend a product, service or company to their friends and family. It is often rated on a scale of 0 to 10 and the results can then be used to calculate net promoter score (NPS). This particular scaled-response question is used across many different research projects, both ad hoc and tracker studies, meaning that it can be compared across different products, companies, countries and sectors.

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