By Eric H. Lenneberg
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Additional info for Biological Foundations of Language
Over the past 70 years (Likert's original article came out in 1932) the number of research studies employing this technique has certainly reached a sixdigit figure, which is due to the fact that the method is simple, versatile, and reliable. CONSTRUCTING THE QUESTIONNAIRE 37 Likert scales consist of a series of statements all of which are related to a particular target (which can be, among others, an individual person, a group of people, an institution, or a concept); respondents are asked to indicate the extent to which they agree or disagree with these items by marking (e.
On the other hand, forewarned by the potential threat of a lack of comprehensiveness, researchers may be tempted to make the questionnaire too long by covering every possible angle. Although this is undesirable, without any explicit content specifications it is almost impossible to decide what limit to put on the range of questions. So, the initial stage of questionnaire design should focus on clarifying the research problem and identifying what critical concepts need to be addressed by the questionnaire.
One can mark 'strongly agree' in all the items in a multi-item scale), in rank order items each sub-component must have a different value even though such a forced choice may not be natural in every case. In my own research, I have tended to avoid rank order items because it is not easy to process them statistically. We cannot simply count the mean of the ranks for each item across the sample because the numerical values assigned to the items are not the same as in rating scales: they are only an easy technical method to indicate order rather than the extent of endorsement.