[Rasch] Number of options in survey questions

Michael Lamport Commons commons at tiac.net
Tue Feb 28 04:49:37 EST 2006

Me too.  I always use 4 or 6

My Best,

Michael Lamport Commons, Ph.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor
Program in Psychiatry and the Law
Department of Psychiatry
Harvard Medical School
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
234 Huron Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138-1328

Telephone (617) 497-5270
Facsimile (617) 491-5270
Commons at tiac.net

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Looveer, Juho" <Juho.Looveer at det.nsw.edu.au>
To: <rasch at acer.edu.au>; <rasch at wu-wien.ac.at>
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2006 8:05 AM
Subject: [Rasch] Number of options in survey questions


Something much simpler than recent issues . . .

Years ago I was advised that we should use an even number of options for any 
survey questions (ie those with Likert-type responses); ( e.g. never - 
rarely - often - always)
This would avoid the central tendency for respondents.

However, most commercial surevys use an odd number of options ( e.g. never - 
rarely - sometimes - often - always)

I am interested in any articles that discuss this issue, or any general 
comments from erudite practitioners.



Dr Juho Looveer
Manager, Data Collection
Planning and Innovation
NSW Department of Education and Training
Level 5, 35 Bridge St Sydney
GPO Box 33
Sydney NSW 2001
work phone: 956 18192
fax: 956 18055
Juho.Looveer at det.nsw.edu.au

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