Developed by Charles Osgood in 1957, the semantic differential scale plays an integral role in helping researchers understand the emotive perception of their research subjects. This research tool allows participants to let researchers in on how they feel about specific scenarios.
In this article, we will let you in on what a semantic differential scale is, its functions, and how to create a semantic differential scale survey using Formplus. More than quantitative values, organizations must leverage semantic differential scales to assess the emotive dispositions of customers towards service delivery.
A semantic differential scale is a type of rating scale that weighs respondents’ perceptions of or attitudes towards a specific subject matter through an array of questions. This rating scale allows individuals, organizations, and other stakeholders to measure the emotive meanings of words in predetermined contexts.
Typically, it represents a contextual inquiry into a form respondent’s disposition towards an event. When presented with a semantic differential scale, the form respondent has to choose the option that best resonates with his or her emotive perception of the subject, from the set of binary opposing adjectives.
In matrix rating, form respondents are presented with a close-ended question that requires them to evaluate a set of items via the same parameters. Matrix questions are usually presented in a grid-like format of rows and columns where the rows present questions and the columns align predetermined choices.
Matrix rating allows form respondents to provide answers to related questions at a go; placing the questions and options in a grid makes it easy for responses to be provided. It is apt for customer satisfaction surveys, inquiries about brand-perception of the target market, among other things.
An open-ended question is a free-end question that is not limited to yes/no responses. Unlike closed-ended questions, open-ended questions allow respondents to fully communicate their thoughts, feelings, and reservations about the specific subject matter at hand using open text format.
With open-ended questions, there are few or no restrictions, and form respondents can freely express their thoughts without constraints. This type of question provides better insights into the thought patterns, expectations, and perceptions of the form respondents in line with specific contexts.
A rating scale is a type of close-ended survey question that allows form respondents to provide comparative feedback on particular features, products, and services. Rating scales allow researchers to carry out a qualitative evaluation by gathering relative information from form respondents about the specific subject matter.
Rating scales can be ordinal or interval. An ordinal scale presents options in an orderly manner and it can be used when parameters such as feedback or attitude come to play, while an interval scale presents its answer variables in a sporadic manner.
A star rating scale is a type of matrix rating scale that allows respondents to evaluate a product or service by ranking attributes on a 5-point visual scale represented by stars as opposed to checkboxes or radio buttons.
Including a star rating scale in your survey or questionnaire improves survey response time and reduces your survey drop-out rates. Because it is easy and simple to use, star rating scales are used in many feedback surveys including customer satisfaction surveys and product surveys.
A heart rating scale is a common type of pictorial rating scale that allows form respondents to indicate how they feel about a specific subject matter by show of hearts. Just like a star rating scale, the heart rating scale uses hearts as opposed to checkboxes, numbers, and radio buttons, to measure a respondent’s level of satisfaction with a service.
Formplus allows you to seamlessly conduct online surveys using the powerful form builder. Here, you can create different types of surveys containing semantic differential scales including heart rating scales and open-ended questions, and administer them to form respondents, with little or no stress.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create survey forms containing semantic differential scales using the all-in-one form builder.
To access the Formplus builder, you will need to create an account on Formplus, and this can be completed in a few minutes. After this, log into your account to access the form builder and click on “create form” to start building your survey.
You can also modify available templates in the form builder to suit your survey needs.
Click on the field provided to input your form title, for example, “Semantic Differential Scale Survey”.
Formplus form customization options allow you to change the appearance of your survey in line with your brand image or personal preferences. With Formplus, you can change your form theme, add background images, and even change the font according to your needs.
Formplus allows you to automatically access interesting insights about your data collection process. In the form analytics dashboard, you can view important metrics including the total number of form views, total number of submissions, amongst other things.
If you want to create instant visual reports for your form data, you can use the robust report summary tool. This tool allows you to immediately view selected form fields and data as simple and creative graphs and charts.
It’s really easy to create your survey containing semantic differential, with Formplus. Formplus has a drag-and-drop form builder that allows you to add fields to your form by simply clicking on the preferred fields or dragging and dropping them into your survey form.
There are also more than 30 fields available in the builder which allows you to collect information the way you like in your form. You can easily add rating fields to create semantic differential scales in your survey form.
Formplus offers multiple form-sharing options which enables you to easily share your survey with target respondents. You can use the direct social media sharing buttons to share your form link to your organization’s social media pages.
You can send out your survey form as email invitations to your research respondents too. If you wish, you can share your form’s QR code or embed it on your organization’s website for easy access.
Formplus allows you to store your form data in your preferred external cloud storage; preventing indiscriminate loss of important data. Presently, Formplus supports Google Drive, One Drive, and Dropbox cloud storage systems so that you can receive, organize, and share form data directly from these cloud storage systems.
Survey respondents can fill out your survey and submit it, even when they have poor or no internet access and this means that poor internet connectivity does not have to stall your data collection process, anymore. All offline form responses are automatically synced with our secure servers immediately internet connection is restored.
These days, more people fill out surveys on their mobile devices and this is why Formplus forms are mobile-friendly. This means that your survey respondents can conveniently complete your online survey from the comfort of their smartphone devices without any hassles.
A semantic differential scale is a type of rating scale that allows respondents to communicate their emotional perceptions of the research subject in different contexts. On the other hand, a Likert scale is a unidimensional scale that allows form respondents to communicate their opinions about a specific subject; usually in terms of the degree of agreement.
On Likert scales, the researcher provides assertions and requires the form respondent to indicate the extent to which s/he agrees with the statement. In a semantic differential scale, the researcher allows the form respondent to complete the assertion in line with his or her emotional perception.
On a Likert scale, the respondent is restricted to primarily agree or disagree with the assertion while on a semantic differential scale, the respondent has more flexible options that allow him or her to capture the true feelings.
Qualitative findings from a semantic differential scale are more authentic than the findings derived from a Likert scale. This is because a semantic differential scale provides more specific options that are emotive in nature.
Without any doubt, the semantic differential scale gives researchers a better insight into the emotive thought-patterns of research subjects. Hence, it is very useful in informing the creation of products, processes, and services that appeal to the psyches of these form respondents.
Formplus makes it easy for you to create semantic differential scales with its easy-to-use form builder. You can create different types of semantic differential scales by dragging preferred rating fields from the builder’s inputs section and dropping them in your survey form.
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