Faculty Publications

No One Optimal Way to Measure People’s Attitudes? Preferred Length of Scales in Advertising Research

Document Type


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising


Rating scales are commonly used to measure constructs that are not directly observable, such as attitudes. The extant research in the literature has extended the general understanding of attitude measurement. Yet the optimal number of scale points remains elusive. The current study aims to discuss this topic in an advertising research context. I conduct a comprehensive review of the literature on the effect of scale points from 1924 to 2021 and summarize empirical evidence as well as major arguments over time. I also perform an analysis of rating scales measuring attitude toward the ad that appeared in the Journal of Advertising from 2011 to 2020 and explore how and why researchers have used some rating scale points. I present the key issues and propose several practical recommendations for future research.


Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship

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DOI of published version