2

I'm using a Likert scale that has 5 possible items:

  • ++ for "I strongly agree"
  • + for "I agree"
  • +/- for "I'm indifferent"
  • - for "I disagree"
  • -- for "I strongly disagree"

Now I think that "I'm indifferent" for the item in the middle isn't really the term that should be used, but I can't think of any better term. Any helps there?

5
  • 1
    I would use a 4 point scale and force people to have an opinion. Mar 28, 2011 at 10:15
  • Also: what does it mean to strongly diagree? I've never understood that. Does strongly mean emotively in this context? Mar 28, 2011 at 10:18
  • 4
    @Matt Ellen -- The Likert scale specifically uses odd numbers of options to allow neutral opinions. Forcing an opinion would be a different scale.
    – Martha F.
    Mar 28, 2011 at 13:16
  • For the middle choice (the one in question) there are so many ways of interpreting being in the middle that many terms for it will be misleading (undecided (you have decided exactly that you don't prefer one or the other), don't care (you may really care that you're right in the middle), unsure (you know for sure that you are sitting on the fence), etc, etc). Martha's explanation takes out (as much as is possible) the interpretation.
    – Mitch
    Mar 28, 2011 at 13:55
  • For me, "I'm indifferent" works as well as any alternatives.
    – jbelacqua
    Mar 28, 2011 at 16:52

5 Answers 5

7

You could use the word neutral, but that would require rewording the other options to take out the actor and focus on the opinion:

  • "Strongly agree"
  • "Agree"
  • "Neutral"
  • "Disagree"
  • "Strongly disagree"

I've seen this formulation often on forms.

1
  • I've used this formulation often on forms. :)
    – Marthaª
    Mar 28, 2011 at 13:52
4

How about

"I neither agree nor disagree"

2

It really depends on the context.
You could also say:

  • I have no preference
  • I'm undecided

Though in general, I would use what you already have. What are you doing a survey on exactly?

2

You could try "I'm ambivalent" in the middle slot:

ambivalent having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone [NOAD]

1
  • ambivalent is not a word I would expect people to know what it means. Ironically, they would be able to infer what it means from the fact that it's where "no opinion" or its ilk usually goes...
    – corsiKa
    Mar 28, 2011 at 19:57
2

I have seen "No Opinion" used on occasion.

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