Zappi’s use of scales

Survey rating scales

On a scale of 1-10, with one being No Knowledge and 10 being Expert-Level Knowledge, how much do you know about Survey Rating Scales? 

As shown in the question above, survey rating scales are a simple tool that allows a respondent to judge their own sentiment. You can use them to measure agreement, specific KPIs, sentiment strength, likes, or dislikes. 

They are fundamental in survey-making, so it is essential to understand how to best use them. 

A lot of academic research has been done on survey rating scales. Most of it centers around choosing the number of points on the scale, and the style. 

There are two main styles, unilateral and bilateral. In unilateral scales, which Zappi uses, sentiment is measured from one extreme to another in a linear way. The question at the top is a unilateral scale. 

The main contention is the number of points. Some campaign for the 7 point scale, some favor the 5, others the 10. However, most researchers conclude that there is no proven “ideal” or “best” numeric scale. 

Zappi’s thinking centers on the following convictions:  

1. There is no clear best way

The labeling applied to a scale has as much (if not more) impact on the shape of data collected, than the number of points in the scale. When weighed out, tests on different point scales often have very similar average scores. 

We demonstrated this effect to two of our clients and proved that moving to the Zappi standard scale was not going to change the way that respondents answered. 

  • For a beverage client,* we correlated their 5 pt. scale to our 11 pt. scale for a question on purchase intent. We found a strong correlation of 0.63. 
  • We similarly correlated one of our personal care clients’ * work and demonstrated again that the 11 pt. scale maps to the 5 pt. Scale.

As such, it is more important that the scale makes sense for the specific question, than it is to use the same scale across the board. 

2. Standardization is the only way forward

While it is not essential to use the same scale for everything, it is important to be consistent in your choice for each question. Retaining consistency in your scales allows instant comparability across projects on the same Zappi solution. That is, becoming:

  • More efficient: you can quickly build comparable normative databases and gain more meaningful insights.
  • Faster: working within the pre-built survey and reporting templates cuts hassle and time.
  • Cost-effective: by using the same questions with the same response options every test you run is directly, and quickly comparable. It allows you to test and learn under the same conditions, without changes to the questionnaire ‘muddying the water’.

What scales does Zappi use?

Zappi surveys use a wide variety of scales, as do our partners. The scales we use are formatted into the questionnaires, and cannot be modified. The exception being certain Custom Questions.

Find out how to translate top-box proportions between different scales in this article.

*Company Name omitted to maintain confidentiality

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