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"ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <[log in to unmask]>
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SH Ramlet <[log in to unmask]>
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Fri, 23 Jan 2009 09:34:32 -0600
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Max Harper <[log in to unmask]>
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Max Harper <[log in to unmask]>
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An interesting discussion!

One point I would add is that we might treat "ratings scales" (as in
the movie examples above) and "survey scales" differently.
Recommendation (e.g. collaborative filtering) and summarization
algorithms typically renormalize averages on a per-user basis; these
systems might not be seeking "the truth" about the ratable entity as
much as they are trying to find things that the user likes more or
less than his/her average.

On the other hand, we often wish for subjects to be as consistent as
possible across survey responses, which is why labels are so critical.
 I agree with the earlier thought that mid-point labels are often
unnecessary or even harmful (as in the "dull" example).  In addition,
it's often possible to re-word the question so that the standard
agree/disagree scales can be used.

Here's another list of scales that I've referenced in the past:
http://dataguru.org/ref/survey/responseoptions.asp

Max Harper
GroupLens Research
University of Minnesota



On Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 7:30 AM, SH Ramlet <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I agree that words are difficult to define, and it's just as key to design
> the questions clearly so that they don't imply multiple answers, such as:
>
> "I liked this movie and would rent it again"
>
> Well, I may have hated it and would rent it again, or I may have loved it
> and yet would not rent it again.
>
> Back to the scale question, and keeping in mind that accessibility is
> important to me when designing any sort of communication interface, a model
> I really like is the pain chart (with the smiley / frowney faces) you see in
> the doctor's office. I believe it to be globally accessible, without the
> need for words.
>
> Susan Ramlet
> Usability Engineer, Enterprise Applications
> Medtronic
>
> On Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 4:11 AM, William Hudson <
> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> How to use Likert scales seem to be a pretty touchy subject (from my
>> past experience), but I just had to share this example of how (I think)
>> not to do it.
>>
>> <snip>
>
>
>
>>
>> What do list members think? What do you use when conducting surveys?
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>> William Hudson
>> Syntagm Ltd
>> Design for Usability
>> US Toll Free 1-866-SYNTAGM
>> UK 01235-522859
>> World +44-1235-522859
>> mailto:[log in to unmask]
>> http://www.syntagm.co.uk
>> http://www.designforusability.com
>>
>> Syntagm is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered
>> number: 1895345. Registered office: 10 Oxford Road, Abingdon OX14 2DS.
>>
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