A Practical Learning About Online Research

Attribute Rating Scale Type Effects

Allen Hogg
Burke Interactive
Jaci Jarrett Masztal
Burke Strategic Consulting Group



The impetus for this paper arises out of a real question posed by a high-technology client. Burke was preparing a Web survey for this client in which respondents would be asked to provide ratings of a number of attributes on a numerical scale. Burke's default approach to this situation had been to design the Web screen to look approximately like a paper questionnaire – using 'radio buttons' stretched horizontally across the much like circles to be filled in might be stretched along a printed survey instrument.

This general approach is a common one advocated by, among others, survey construction guru Don Dillman (2000), whose 'Principles for Constructing Web Surveys' includes the commandment, 'Present each question in a conventional format similar to that normally used on paper self-administered questionnaires.' (p. 379)