# Calculate Median Value of Likert Scale data

I have a dataset in a Likert Scale: strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree (see attached).

(i) Is there an online calculator that can used to calculate the Median for each item question from this dataset?

• With samples that small by the time you got to the page and put the data in you could have calculated all the medians by hand anyway (it takes about 1 second per row). With more than 6 observations or with lots more rows, you could use any spreadsheet program (including online ones) with even a modest degree of functionality. Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 2:54
• Can you provide an example how you would calculate the median of the above survey results manually. I am not sure how to input them properly into an excel sheet. Any assistance would be appreciated.Thanks
– Vyas
Commented Dec 14, 2018 at 0:21
• There are 6 values in each row; you take the average of the category labels containing the 3rd and 4th largest observations. E.g. in row 1 there are 3 observations in category 4 and 1 in category 3, with two lower down; the 3rd largest is "3" and the 4th largest is "4" so the median is conventionally taken to be 3.5 Commented Dec 14, 2018 at 4:17
• Is it that the median for first row only is calculated as 3.5? I do not understand the logic clearly. When you say 6 values, are you referring to 6 observations? I understand that the 3rd and 4th terms (among the six) are the middle and that is why we need to take the average of the 3rd and 4th term. I am also not clear why would you choose 3rd largest as "3" and 4th largest as "4"? Moreover, if you were to put the above in an an excel sheet and calculate the median, how would you lay out the values? Thank you
– Vyas
Commented Dec 16, 2018 at 1:39
• No (and there's your problem), those are counts of how many values are in each category. The values in order are 1,2,3,4,4,4. Commented Dec 16, 2018 at 22:36

The median for this type of data can easily be calculated using either excel or r-stats. An online survey tool, such as GoogleForms, can also be used to create online surveys and it will generate graphs and stats from your survey data - Likert style. Survey Monkey does this as well, but you have to pay for the full service.

However, if you are doing a survey using Likert Scale, then you want to think carefully about the results. One of the best pieces of software that I used for this is jMetrik (https://itemanalysis.com/jmetrik-download/). This software will give you the basic descriptive statistics (e.g., median) of your survey data and much more.

For example, biserial and point biserial correlations can be calculated in jMetrik as an internal criterion of the total Likert score; the background on this is described in Crocker and Algina (1986) and Olsson, Drasgow, and Dorans (1982). The item correlation values provide an index of internal item reliability. It is an internal measure of the degree of linear relationship between the item score and the total Likert criterion scores.

Calculating the median for this type of data will give you very little insight into the way that people are responding to your survey. Item-total Pearson and correlation polyserial values are used in item discrimination analysis when testing for knowledge and for identifying an item malfunction; e.g., was your question confusing or did the respondent provide a response that was inconsistent with the rest of the answers? The jMetrik website provides videos, a manual, and reference material to help with your analysis. It is the correct type of free software to use for the analysis of survey data.

References

Crocker, L.M., & Algina, J. (1986). Introduction to classical and modern test theory. New York: CBS College Publishing.

Olsson, U., Drasgow, F., & Dorans, N. J. (1982). The polyserial correlation coefficient. Psychometrika, 47(3), 337-346.

• Hi, Thank you for the explanation. How do we know if this set of data with a low response rate n=6 of 23 responses, is externally valid (generalizable)?
– Vyas
Commented Dec 14, 2018 at 0:24
• You would have to repeat the survey. There are two general classes of inductive inference: A. Inferences from premises referring to members of one class to conclusions referring to members of the same class. B. Inferences from premises referring to members of one class to conclusions referring to members of a different same class. Inferences of types (A) and (B) are routinely involved in the act of testing hypotheses. The type of reasoning in statistics is found in (A). This is the difference between a parametric population v. sample statistic. To know - you need to experiment. Commented Dec 14, 2018 at 3:16
• As an added FYI...there is also the Likert package for r-stats, but it's primary function is plotting the data. cran.r-project.org/web/packages/likert/likert.pdf Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 16:31