# Margin of error for average of several Likert-scale questions

From a survey I have data on three similar Likert-type questions (scales are 1 to 5). Because the questions essentially ask the same thing, I'd like to just report the average (mean) score across all three questions*. How do you calculate the margin of error for that?

• Do you just lump the data from all three questions together? But then you effectively triple your sample size, and you get a relatively small margin of error.

• Do you calculate the average of the three responses for each respondent first, and then calculate the margin of error? But does that reduce your standard deviation?

• Do you take the largest margin of error of the three questions? I heard somewhere that one typically reports the largest margin of error. Does that apply in this case?

• Or is it something else?