Overall Rating Scale Questions and Rating Scale Data for Analysis

When you design performance evaluation questions for your survey, you will want to ask a range of specific performance questions as well as overall performance questions.  Many survey designers are unsure of when in the survey sequence you should ask the overall performance questions.  Would it be preferential to ask it before or after the specific performance questions? 

The answer is:  It depends 

And here’s the reason why:  If the respondents are likely to have considered the overall performance question before they completed your performance questionnaire and already know their answer, the overall performance question should appear first.  The specific performance questions will then give more detailed information about your products and services. 

If the respondents are unlikely to have considered the overall performance question prior to completing the performance questionnaire, the detailed performance questions should appear first, so that the respondent is led to answer the overall performance question. This is likely to produce a higher correlation between the individual specific performance questions and the overall performance question than when the sequence is reversed. 

Rating Scale Data for Analysis 

When you use rating scale data for analysis of your performance or satisfaction survey, does each point on the scale represent a unit of performance or satisfaction?  Is good 3 points of performance and very good 5 units? OR, is very good + 2 units, and very poor –2 units, and good +1 unit, so very good is twice as good as good? Confused yet?

Rating scale data is ordered category data. Assigning a numeric value to each point on the scale enables the researcher to use descriptive statistics such as mean values to compare responses to different questions. However, assumes the categories are in a numeric sense equally spaced out.  This may not be true in practice.

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