Warmbrod, J.R. (2014). Reporting and Interpreting Scores Derived from Likert-type Scales. Journal of Agricultural Education, 55(5), 30-47. doi: 10.5032/jae.2014.05030
Forty-nine percent of the 706 articles published in the Journal of Agricultural Education from 1995 to 2012 reported quantitative research with at least one variable measured by a Likert-type scale. Grounded in the classical test theory definition of reliability and the tenets basic to Likert-scale measurement methodology, for the target population of 344 articles using Likert-scale methodology, the objectives of the research were to (a) describe the scores derived from Likert-type scales reported and interpreted, (b) describe the reliability coefficients cited for the scores interpreted, and (c) ascertain whether there is congruence or incongruence between the reliability coefficient cited and the Likert-scale scores reported and interpreted. Twenty-eight percent of the 344 articles exhibited congruent interpretations of Likert-scale scores, 45% of the articles exhibited incongruent interpretations, and 27% of the articles exhibited both congruent and incongruent interpretations. Single-item scores were reported and interpreted in 63% of the articles, 98% of which were incongruent interpretations. Summated scores were reported and interpreted in 59% of the articles, 91% of which were congruent interpretations. Recommendations for analysis, interpretation, and reporting of scores derived from Likert-type scales are presented.