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Title: Optimal Number of Response Categories in Rating Scales: Reliability, Validity, Discriminating Power, and Respondent Preferences
Authors: Preston, Carolyn C.
Colman, Andrew M.
First Published: 13-Mar-2000
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Acta Psychologica, 2000, 104 (1), pp. 1-15.
Abstract: Using a self-administered questionnaire, 149 respondents rated service elements associated with a recently visited store or restaurant on scales that differed only in the number of response categories (ranging from 2 to 11) and on a 101-point scale presented in a different format. On several indices of reliability, validity, and discriminating power, the 2-point, 3-point, and 4-point scales performed relatively poorly, and indices were significantly higher for scales with more response categories, up to about 7. Internal consistency did not differ significantly between scales, but test-retest reliability tended to decrease for scales with more than 10 response categories. Respondent preferences were highest for the 10-point scale, closely followed by the 7-point and 9-point scales. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
DOI Link: 10.1016/S0001-6918(99)00050-5
ISSN: 0001-6918
Type: Article
Description: This is the author's final draft of the paper published as Acta Psychologica, 2000, 104 (1), pp. 1-15. The final version is available from Doi: 10.1016/S0001-6918(99)00050-5
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Psychology

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