I have the results of a questionary with 2 subjects and each of them includes 4 sub-questions in the form of Likert items. The questions are about the impact of a situation on people's lives and the options are negative, little negative, neutral, little positive, and positive. My main question is how to interpret the results to understand the direction of impact. I encoded them (negative=-2, little negative=-1, neutral=0, little positive=1, and positive=2) and used one-sample Wilcoxon signed-rank test and put the difference equal to 0 in python. I appreciate any help

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If I understand this correctly, a bar chart showing the frequency of different answers is as informative as you need or will get. It will show clearly whether positive or negative answers are dominant. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Oct 8, 2021 at 16:04

1 Answer 1


Comment. I agree with @NickCox that some sort of graphical display may be the best you can do. If I understand correctly, you have one four-question questionnaire from each of two people. Even if the two subjects have completely non-overlapping opinions, I know of no appropriate test that would find a statistically significant difference

A paired Wilcoxon signed-rank test will not be able to give a P-value below 5%.

Consider the following fictitious data, with a paired Wilcoxon test in R, which shows no significant difference:

a = c(-1, -1, 0,  0)
b = c( 1,  1, 2,  2)
wilcox.test(a, b, pair=T)

       Wilcoxon signed rank test 
       with continuity correction

data:  a and b
V = 0, p-value = 0.07186
alternative hypothesis: 
 true location shift is not equal to 0

Warning message:
In wilcox.test.default(a, b, pair = T) :
  cannot compute exact p-value with ties

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.