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Thread: survey scales

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    34

    survey scales

    dear db gurus,

    how do i handle this situation (in my db design)? i have a survey question such as:

    1. On a scale from 1-10, how do you rate the instructors performance?

    my original idea was to have in the response table a field that can hold values 1 to 10. however, is it better to have a record for each choice 1 to 10 where the field holds only 0 or 1?

    e.g.

    Design 1

    responseTable
    -----------------
    response1 3

    Design 2

    responseTable
    -----------------
    response1 option1 0
    response1 option2 0
    response1 option3 1
    response1 option4 0
    etc.
    response1 option10 0

    that is, the participant rated their instructor a 3.
    Last edited by poison_chicken; 05-02-06 at 12:41.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Arizona, USA
    Posts
    1,848
    IMO, option 1 is the better choice. A relational database is more flexible and handles data that is in columns quite well. Trying to process data that is in rows is much more difficult.
    Lou
    使大吃一惊
    "Lisa, in this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" - Homer Simpson
    "I have my standards. They may be low, but I have them!" - Bette Middler
    "It's a book about a Spanish guy named Manual. You should read it." - Dilbert


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    34
    thanks for the help. that was my original thought.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    330
    Is 1 good or bad?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    34
    urquel, you tell me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    330
    That's why I asked. When administering a survey, you have to explicity state what a numeric answer means.

    The survey question states as follows:

    1. On a scale from 1-10, how do you rate the instructors performance?

    To me, 1 could be the best or the worst. But I can't relate a number to performance unless I know what you mean.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    34

    o i c

    ...what you mean. yeah, you are right...1 could be bad or good, theoretically. however, the 10 point scale is an intuitive scale, and usually needs no explanation, but i guess i better include that in the directions.

    either way, the "instructor rating" was just a dummy example...and in fact, the 10 point scale is irrelevant to my design confusion....it could have been 1-7, 1-5, just not 0 or 1.

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