ISSN 1842-4562
Member of DOAJ

Rating Scale Optimization in Survey Research: An Application of the Rasch Rating Scale Model

Kenneth D. ROYAL
Amanda ELLIS


Rating Scale Optimization, Survey Research, Rasch Rating Scale Model


Linacre (1997) describes rating scale optimization as "fine-tuning" to try to squeeze the last ounce of performance out of a test [or survey]. In the survey research arena, rating scale optimization often involves collapsing rating scale categories and performing additional iterative analyses of the data to ensure appropriate fit to the Rasch model. The purpose of this research is to 1) explore the literature as it pertains to rating scales in survey research, 2) discuss Rasch measurement and its applications in survey research, 3) conduct an iterative Rasch analysis of a sample survey dataset that demonstrates how collapsing rating scale categories can sometimes improve construct, communicative and structural validity and increase the reliability of the measures, and 4) discuss the implications of this technique.