10 Ordinal Scale Examples + a Free Tool To Make Your Own!

Your Guide to Ordinal Scale Examples

  • What is an Ordinal Scale?
  • 10 Ordinal Scale Examples
  • Ordinal Scales vs Other Types of Scales
  • Other Ways to Poll
  • The Perfect Online Polling Tool

What is an Ordinal Scale?

  1. Very Unsatisfied
  2. Unsatisfied
  3. Neutral
  4. Satisfied
  5. Very Satisfied
  • Qualitative — Ordinal scales are qualitative because they focus on words that define a specific value. For example, people know what a satisfactory experience feels like, whereas it’s harder for them to define a ‘7 out of 10’ experience.
  • Quantitative — They’re quantitative because each word corresponds to a number value. If a researcher defines a satisfactory experience as a 7 or 8 out of 10 experience, then they can easily compare and chart all the collected data through numbers.

10 Ordinal Scale Examples

  1. Write your question
  2. Put forward your statements
  3. Add in the values

Type #1 — Familiarity

  • A company testing its audience to see how familiar they are with certain products. The data that results from this can lead to advertising efforts towards products that scored lower familiarity.
  • A teacher testing their students on familiarity of a certain subject. This gives the teacher an idea of what level of prior knowledge about that subject can be assumed before deciding where to start teaching it.

Type #2 — Frequency

  • A survey gathering information about the degree to which the public are following rules. The data can be used to ascertain how well or how poorly a public information campaign is performing.
  • A company gathering information about how a buyer is influenced on their website. The company can use this data to focus on certain types of more popular media, like video or banner ads, as opposed to other less viewed media.

Type #3 — Intensity

  • A medical establishment testing patients on their perceived levels of pain before and after treatment. The data can be used to determine the efficacy of a service or procedure.
  • A church service testing churchgoers on the power of a sermon. They can use the data to see whether or not to sack their pastor.

Type #4 — Importance

  • A restaurant asking customers to put forward what is most important to them. Data from here can be used to figure out what parts of service need the most attention from management.
  • A survey gathering opinions on attitudes to diet and exercise. Data can be used to find out how important the public sees certain aspects of keeping fit.

Type #5 — Agreement

  • A company surveying their customers about the usability of their website. They can make specific statements about what the company itself thinks and then see if their users agree or disagree with those statements.
  • An employer gathering employee opinions about the workplace environment. Depending on the levels of disagreement and agreement to their statements, they can figure out what needs fixing for the benefit of the employees.

Type #6 — Satisfaction

  • A university gathering levels of satisfaction about their enrollment service. The data can help them determine what most needs improving for potential future students.
  • A political party polling their supporters on their efforts over the past year. If their supporters are in any way dissatisfied with the progression of the party, they can start polling them on what they would like done differently.

Type #7 — Performance

  • A company gathering customer reviews of each aspect of their purchase and delivery. They can use the data to see where the customers are placing high expectations and where the company is failing to meet them.
  • A film studio trying to find out if their latest production lived up to the hype. If not, it’s possible either that the movie was over-hyped beforehand or that it failed to deliver, or both.

Type #8 — Likelihood

  • A company trying to determine what percentage of their customers will become advocates of the brand after using the service. This will reveal information that can help build brand loyalty across multiple channels.
  • A medical survey for doctors determining the likelihood of them prescribing a certain type of medication after using it for the first time. The data will help pharmaceutical companies develop credibility for their drug.

Type #9 — Improvement

  • A company asking for employers’ opinions about which departments have worsened or improved in the past year. This will help them to make more meaningful efforts towards progress in certain areas.
  • A climatologist conducting research into the public’s perception of climate change in the past 10 years. Gathering this kind of data is crucial to changing attitudes towards protecting the environment.

Type #10 — Self-Ability

  • A language teacher trying to determine how confident their students are in certain areas of language ability. The teacher can do this either before or after a lesson or course to determine improvement in self-perceived ability over time.
  • An interviewer asking candidates about their own strengths and weaknesses during a job interview. Doing this can help single out the right candidate for the job.

Ordinal Scales vs Other Types of Scales

  • Nominal Scales
  • Ordinal Scales
  • Interval Scales
  • Ratio Scales

Ordinal Scale Example vs Nominal Scale Example

  • One way is to leave a message for respondents that eliminates the chance of messing up the values:
  • Another way is to leave the lowest value (1) as N/A (not applicable). Respondents that can relate to the nominal scale but not the ordinal scale can choose N/A to ensure that there’s no value conflict. The ‘super light’ value will therefore start on (2).

Ordinal Scale Example vs Interval Scale Example

  1. Freezing
  2. Cold
  3. Temperate
  4. Warm
  5. Hot
  1. Freezing (0°C — 9°C)
  2. Cold (10°C — 19°C)
  3. Temperate (20°C — 25°C)
  4. Warm (26°C — 31°C)
  5. Hot (32°C +)

Ordinal Scale Example vs Ratio Scale Example

Other Ways to Poll

1. Multiple Choice Poll

2. Image Choice Poll

3. Word Cloud Poll

4. Open-Ended Poll

The Perfect Online Polling Tool



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