T-Test with Likert Scale Variables

5 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2016

See all articles by Pedro Cosme Vieira

Pedro Cosme Vieira

Universidade do Porto - Faculdade de Economia (FEP)

Date Written: April 25, 2016


Although Likert scale is numeric, it is intrinsically ordinal (1 – Strongly disagree to 5 - Strongly agree). Even ordinal, due to convenience it is usual to use a t-test to evaluate whether two groups are significantly different (testing population mean with unknown variance). In this paper I will investigate if when we have a survey that uses a Likert Scale, it is adequate to use a t-test. I will use bootstrapping by first “imposing” that the population verifies the null hypothesis. I conclude that, the use of the t-test it is valid to compare groups even when the variable is measured a Likert scale and the populations does not have a normal distribution.

Keywords: Hypothesis test, Ordinal variables, Bootstrapping

JEL Classification: C12, C15, C83

Suggested Citation

Vieira, Pedro Cosme Costa, T-Test with Likert Scale Variables (April 25, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2770035 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2770035

Pedro Cosme Costa Vieira (Contact Author)

Universidade do Porto - Faculdade de Economia (FEP) ( email )

R. Dr. Roberto Frias, 80
Porto, 4200-464

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