How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
The Semantic Differential question scale offers a bipolar pair of adjectives between which the respondent must choose along some form of scaling (typically a five-point scale).
The pairs of words need not be opposite and may be used to discover fine differences in viewpoint. They are often adjectives.
Please indicate your opinions about the 'Jolly Boys' TV show by checking one box in each row below:
Alternative form, using unmarked, continuous scale (with central position):
This is a relatively unusual form of question that is used in more specialist surveys where the connotative meaning is being explored.
Pairs of words are often clear opposites. This is not always the case, in which case there is more cognitive challenge. This style can be used to test interpretation of words or subconscious perception. It is also possible people will ignore or select random response.
Unmarked scales are more difficult to code afterwards, although this can be done with a Likert-type overlay. The advantage of these is that they are not dependent on the interpretation of words (for example, 'somewhat' can mean a lot or a little to different people). Respondents will tend to score these relatively - thus if they feel less strongly about a question than the previous one, they will mark the scale in a more central position.
This method gives interval data.
And the big