Likert published his idea for a new scale in his 1932 article “A Technique for the Measurement of Attitudes” in the Archive of Psychology.  As a psychologist Likert believed that even though people can have many attitudes toward a topic and that these attitudes can change over time, there is still a continuum on which all attitudes lie.

He thought that if you collected enough data that over time attitudes would start to cluster and link together around the most popular responses. This was his basis for the first 5 response Likert scale.

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