Date: Aug 5, 2011 12:14 AM
Author: David Bee
Subject: [ap-stat] Today's Birthday [August 5th]

Rensis Likert, 5 August 1903 - 3 September 1981

Rensis Likert was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming. His PhD in 1932 dealt
with the measurement of attitudes, from which the well-known ordinal
scales bearing his name, the Likert scale(s), come.

Dr. Likert was the President of the American Statistical Assoc. in
1959. Along with Leslie Kish (See "Today's Birthday [July 27th]")
and others, he helped found the Institute for Social Research at
the University of Michigan. (Dr. Kish had written an obituary on
Likert, "In Memoriam: Rensis Likert, 1903-1981", which appeared in
The American Statistician in 1982 (Vol. 36, No. 2, P124-125) and
was reprinted in the September 2010 issue of the Amstat News.)

For some more on Likert, goto:

-- David Bee

PS: A quotation from Likert, one perhaps relevant to the APStat
Forum: "The greater the loyalty of a group toward the group,
the greater is the motivation among the members to achieve the
goals of the group, and the greater the probability that the
group will achieve its goals."

PPS[Comment]: One Likert-like scale that has(had?) been around for
generations in education and elsewhere is the 1-2-3-4 scale for
poor-fair-good-excellent. Knowing this, it was disconcerting to
see a well-known newspaper that had used such 1-2-3-4 stars for
its movie reviews recently change such to 1-2-3-4-5 stars for
"skip it-take your chances-good-great-excellent". Hmmm. Is
"great" really below "excellent", or is it in the spirit of it
similar to being told to "Have a great day"? (As for this
silly particular 1-2-3-4-5 Likert-like scale, I'll simply skip
it...) [Of course a good 1-2-3-4-5 scale frequently used is for
"strongly approve - approve - undecided - disapprove - strongly

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