The Impact of Item Readability on the Endorsement of the Midpoint Response in Surveys

  • Pauline Velez
  • Steven D. Ashworth
Keywords: Midpoint, neutral response, surveys, item readability

Abstract

Researchers have debated including a midpoint response in questionnaire scales, and they have debated what the selection of that response option represents. Using data from employee opinion surveys of a large financial services organization based primarily in the United States, this study explored whether the endorsement of the midpoint response is related to an item’s readability and its perceived clarity. The results showed the endorsement of the midpoint response was significantly correlated with the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level index, average letters per word, and average number of syllables per word. The results also showed that as the perceived clarity of an item increases, the endorsement of the midpoint response decreases. These findings have important implications both to researchers and organizations that conduct surveys with their employees.
Published
2007-06-23
How to Cite
Velez, P., & Ashworth, S. D. (2007). The Impact of Item Readability on the Endorsement of the Midpoint Response in Surveys. Survey Research Methods, 1(2), 69-74. https://doi.org/10.18148/srm/2007.v1i2.76
Section
Articles