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Differences Between Thurstone and Likert Scales

What are the differences between a Thurstone and Likert scale? Under what conditions is the one to be preferred above the other?

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What are the differences between a Thurstone and Likert scale?

According to... "a respondent is expected to endorse statements that are close to his true position on the attitude continuum in the Thurstone scale... The 'true' attitude scores of the respondent will lie on the maximum ordinate of this distribution. In contrast, in the Likert scale, a respondent makes some response to every item, and a high favourable score of a respondent indicates that he has made more responses to the "strongly favourable" than the respondent with less favourable reactions. In a sense, this is a cumulative type of measurement as the attitude score of a respondent shows the cumulative favourable responses." In short, one difference is that the scores of the respondent in the Thurstone is based on the maximum ordinate of the distribution while in the Likert scale, a cumulative type of measurement results from the cumulative responses of the respondent.

The Thurstone scale is more laborious and time-consuming than the Likert scale in the method of scoring, summating, and validating the responses.

The Likert scales usually results in co-efficients with higher reliability and with fewer items than the Thurston scales.

A study also showed that the Likert scale ...

Solution Summary

The solution differentiates Thurstone scale and Likert scale. References included.

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