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Survey researchers frequently employ rating scales to assess attitudes, behaviors, and other phenomena having a dimensional quality. A rating scale is a response format in which the respondent registers his or her position along a continuum of values. The bipolar scale is a particular type of rating scale characterized by a continuum between two opposite end points. A central property of the bipolar scale is that it measures both the direction (side of the scale) and intensity (distance from the center) of the respondent's position on the concept of interest.

The construction of bipolar scales involves numerous design decisions, each of which may influence how respondents interpret the question and identify their placement along the continuum. Scales typically feature equally spaced gradients between labeled end points. ...

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