Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

A comparison of scale attributes between interval and semantic differential scales

Themistocleous, Christos; Pagiaslis, Anastasios; Smith, Andrew; Wagner, Christian


Christos Themistocleous

Andrew Smith


This paper presents the results of an exploratory study comparing Interval Valued Scales (IVSs) and Semantic Differential Scales (SDSs). The paper investigates consumer perceptions regarding specific scale attributes (Preston and Colman, 2000) and utilizes a controlled, between-subjects, experimental pen and paper design in order to assess the preferences of respondents when using the Interval Valued and Semantic Differential Scales. The rationale of this comparison lies with the fact that the newly introduced IVS has a built-in mechanism that allows the direct capture of respondent uncertainty towards the asked question, a feature that is absent from the SDS and other widely used, single-point capturing scales in marketing research like the Likert and Stapel. Results show that overall consumer preferences of the IVS and SDS are equal; although ‘speed of use’ results favour the IVS. The consistency of respondent evaluations regarding the two scales may indicate their interchangeability in marketing research and opens up pathways for future exploration of IVSs for the accumulation of more reliable and robust results. The main contribution of the paper is the introduction of a novel Interval Valued Scale, within the context of marketing, for collecting respondent answers while also directly capturing respondent uncertainty. Furthermore, this paper adds to the discussion of consumer perceptions and preferences regarding different scales, scale development and optimal rating scales that may lessen ambiguity for survey respondents and researchers.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 24, 2019
Online Publication Date Mar 12, 2019
Publication Date Mar 12, 2019
Deposit Date Feb 4, 2019
Publicly Available Date Feb 4, 2019
Journal International Journal of Market Research
Print ISSN 1470-7853
Electronic ISSN 2515-2173
Publisher World Advertising Research Center
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 61
Issue 4
Pages 394-407
Keywords Interval Valued Scale, Semantic Differential Scale, Scale Attributes, Survey, Experiments
Public URL
Publisher URL