Barry Sheridan

Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Place of Publication

Perth, Western Australia


Measurement Assessment and Evaluation Laboratory


Sheridan, B. (1993). Threshold order and Likert-style questionnaires. Perth, Australia: Edith Cowan University.


Attention to the structure and sequence order of categories for items employing extended category scoring has not received the attention it deserves in the construction of Likert-style questionnaires. The importance of threshold order is emphasised through the presentation of two examples drawn from actual testing situations. When the "neutral", "not sure" or "uncertain" category is incorporated as part of the scoring function the Likert format, threshold disorder results which demonstrates that this structure is not conducive to sound measurement procedures. The second illustration demonstrates how accounting for extremely unlikely responses in a data set, through an examination of threshold order, can assist in understanding the meaning of the variable under construction.