A Technique for the Measurement of Attributes
Rensis Likert. 1932. (View Paper → )
Attempts to measure the traits of character and personality are nearly as old as techniques for the measurement of intellectual capacity, yet it can scarcely be claimed that they have achieved a similar success. Part, at least, of the difficulty has lain in the statistical difficulties which are encountered when everyday aspects of social behavior, ordinarily handled as qualitative affairs, are treated from the mathematical point of view. The present study, although part of a larger investigation undertaken in 1929 by Gardner Murphy, aims primarily at the solution of a technical problem which has arisen in relation to the quantitative aspects of the study of social attitudes.
This paper is 100 years old, but it was an important one. It popularised the ‘Likert Scale’ a revolutionary method for measuring attitudes. This scale allows for the quantification of subjective attitudes and opinions, a crucial aspect in understanding customer preferences and experiences.
The Likert scale provided a systematic way to convert qualitative, subjective attitudes into quantitative data. This approach is essential for product managers and UX researchers who often deal with subjective user feedback.
To this day this enables us to do objective analysis of subjective impressions, enabling data-driven decision-making in product strategy and user experience enhancements.
The scale provides a standardised method for collecting and analysing user opinions, allowing for consistent and comparable data over time.