Likert and t-test


New Member
Newbie here...

I administered 2 surveys, pre and post event using a 1-5 Likert-type scale. I am using the t-Test for correlated measures to determine if the results are due to chance.

Since the scale is only 1-5 (very rarely-very often), the differences in my questions to 7 participants are averaging .5 to 1.5 points. Should I be using these points in my calculations? Or, should I be figuring the percentage differences between the 1-5 intervals? Using these points, my t-stat results are very low, i.e.:

t-Test: Paired Two Sample for Means

Variable 1 Variable 2
Mean 2.714285714 3.857142857
Variance 0.904761905 1.476190476
Observations 7 7
Pearson Correlation -0.18541927
Hypothesized Mean Difference 0
df 6
t Stat -1.803950467
P(T<=t) one-tail 0.060643511
t Critical one-tail 1.943180274
P(T<=t) two-tail 0.121287022
t Critical two-tail 2.446911846

Speaking of percentages... on a 1-5 scale would the difference between 2 and 3 be 20% or 25%?

I would the raw values (points) for the analysis. The output shows that the p-value is greater than .05 for both the one-tailed and two-tailed test. There's no significant difference between pre and post, and the results are due to chance.


TS Contributor
Likert data can be treated as parametric without much concern over violating assumptions of normality.

...and if you try a nonparametric test such as Mann-Whitney or Wilcoxon on a 5-point scale, you'll almost never get a significant result.