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A paired comparison approach for the analysis of sets of Likert-scale responses.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


  • Regina Dittrich
  • Brian Francis
  • Reinhold Hatzinger
  • Walter Katzenbeisser
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2007
<mark>Journal</mark>Statistical Modelling
Pages3 - 28
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper provides an alternative methodology for the analysis of a set of Likert responses measured on a common attitudinal scale when the primary focus of interest is on the relative importance of items in the set. The method makes fewer assumptions about the distribution of the responses than the more usual approaches such as comparisons of means, MANOVA or ordinal data methods. The approach transforms the Likert responses into paired comparison responses between the items. The complete multivariate pattern of responses thus produced can be analyzed by an appropriately reformulated paired comparison model. The dependency structure between item responses can also be modelled flexibly. The advantage of this approach is that sets of Likert responses can be analyzed simultaneously within the Generalized Linear Model framework, providing standard likelihood-based inference for model selection. This method is applied to a recent international survey on the importance of environmental problems.