Semantic Differential Scale

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What is the Semantic Differential Scale?

Semantic Differential Scale is a survey or questionnaire rating scale that asks people to rate a product, company, brand or any "entity" within the frames of a multi-point rating options. These survey answering options are grammatically on opposite adjectives at each end. For example, love / hate, satisfied / unsatisfied and likely to return / unlikely to return with intermediate options in between.

Surveys or questionnaires using semantic differential scale survey feature is the most reliable way to get information on people’s emotional attitude towards a topic of interest.

Charles Egerton Osgood, a famous American psychologist, invented the semantic differential scale so that this “connotative meaning” of emotional attitude towards entities can be recorded and put to good use.

This research was conducted on a large database and Osgood found that there are 3 scales that were commonly effective, irrespective of race or culture or difference in language:

A wide variation of subjects can be measured using these combinations like customers’ outlook about an upcoming product launch or employee satisfaction.

Where to use Semantic Differential Scale?

The ease-of-understanding and the popularity it comes with it, makes it extremely reliable. Due to the versatility that these survey questions come with, make the data collected very accurate.

Semantic differential scale questions are used to ask respondents to rate your products, organization or services with multi-point questions with polar adjectives at the extremes of this scale like likely/ unlikely, happy/sad, loved the service/ hated the service.

Semantic Differential Scale Examples & Question Types

  • Slider Rating Scale

    Questions that feature a graphical slider give the respondent a more interactive way to answer the semantic differential scale question.

    Customer and client satisfaction
  • Non-slider Rating Scale

    The non-slider question uses typical radio buttons for a more traditional survey look and feel that people are more used to answering.

    Semantic Differential Scale
  • Open-ended Questions

    These questions give ample freedom to the users to express their emotions about your organization, products or services.

    Open Ended Questions
  • Ordering

    The ordering questions offer the scope to rate the parameters that the respondents feel are best or worst according to their personal experiences.

  • Satisfaction Rating

    The most easy and eye catchy semantic differential scale questions are the satisfaction rating questions.

    Satisfaction Rating

Advantages of Semantic Differential Scale

  1. Semantic Differential Scale has outdone the other scales like Likert Scale in terms of vitality, rationality or authenticity.
  2. It has an advantage in terms of language too. There are two polar adjectives for the factor to be measured and a scale connecting both these polars.
  3. This is more advantageous than Likert scale where a statement is declared in the statement under question and the respondents are expected to either agree or disagree to that.
  4. Respondents can express their opinions about the matter in hand more specifically and fully due to the polar options provided in the Semantic Differential Scale questions.
  5. In other question types like the Likert Scale, respondents have to be indicate the level of agreement or disagreement they have with the mentioned topic.
    While, the Semantic differential scale offers extremely opposite adjectives on each end of the scale due to which the respondents can precisely explain their feedback that can be used for making accurate judgments from the survey.
  6. Perception of concepts, attitudes and opinions can be easily gained using the verbally opposite terms as a measuring tool using the Semantic Differential Scale.
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Using a Semantic Differential Scale - Things to Consider

QuestionPro provides you with the necessary resources to collecting all types of various data including the semantic differential scale survey feature. When seeking an alternative solution provider though, consider the following:

Using a Semantic Differential Scale: The QuestionPro Process

Create Surveys

Create Your Questionnaire

Signing up with QuestionPro gives you access to over 100 different templates to use for distribution, editing or simply brainstorming new ideas. Customize the questions, question types, order and color to fit your exact needs.

Collect Responses

Collect Responses

When you're done creating your survey, you can distribute it via email, direct link or embedding HTML code on your website or blog. You can view a snapshot report, in real-time, of your current responses.

Analyze Results

Analyze Your Findings

After the survey is finished and you're done collecting responses, you can view detailed reports with customization at your fingertips. You can apply filters, work with pivot tables and view trend analysis.