The How of Survey Self-report: VAS-Likert-Slide-Swipe... Same difference?

Main Article Content

Luke K. Fryer
Kaori Nakao


Self-report is a fundamental research tool for the social sciences. Despite quantitative surveys being the workhorses of the self-report stable, few researchers question their format—often blindly using some form of Labelled Categorical Scale (Likert-type). This study presents a brief review of the current literature examining the efficacy of survey formats, addressing longstanding paper-based concerns and more recent issues raised by computer- and mobile-based surveys. An experiment comparing four survey formats on touch-based devices was conducted. Differences in means, predictive validity, time to complete and centrality were compared. A range of preliminary findings emphasise the similarities and striking differences between these self-report formats. Key conclusions include: A) that the two continuous interfaces (Slide & Swipe) yielded the most robust data for predictive modelling; B) that future research with touch self-report interfaces can set aside the VAS format; C) that researchers seeking to improve on Likert-type formats need to focus on user interfaces that are quick/simple to use. Implications and future directions for research in this area are discussed.

Article Details

How to Cite
Fryer, L. K., & Nakao, K. (2020). The How of Survey Self-report: VAS-Likert-Slide-Swipe. Same difference?. Frontline Learning Research, 8(3), 10–25.
Author Biography

Kaori Nakao, Seinan Gakuin University, Japan

Primary school teacher educator. 


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