The Perceived Favorableness of Selected Scale Anchors and Response Alternatives
OPERATIONS RESEARCH ASSOCIATES PALO ALTO CA
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The purpose of the study was to obtain objective estimates of the extent to which respondents perceive selected questionnaire response alternatives as general indicators of favor or disfavor toward attitudinal objects. Lists of many descriptive terms denoting various degrees of acceptability e.g., moderately acceptable, adequacy e.g., slightly inadequate, and relative goodness e.g., much worse were presented to 51 U.S. Army officers and enlisted personnel who rated each term on an 11-point scale of favorableness and indicated whether or not the meaning of the term seemed ambiguous. The mean, standard deviation, and range of responses were computed for each term and presented in tabular form. Those terms with smaller standard deviations are more strongly advocated for use in questionnaire items than those with larger standard deviations. A technique for constructing scaled response alternative sets is demonstrated. The term borderline is recommended as a replacement for neutral in many applications, because of an ambiguity of meaning that may often accompany use of the latter term.