A Beginner’s Guide to Rating Scales in Psychology

April 18, 2023 at 11:00 PM

Welcome to the world of rating scales in psychology!  If you are a beginner in this field, the variety of scales available may be a little overwhelming. But don't worry, you don't need a PhD. in Clinical Psychology to understand these tools. This beginner's tutorial will help to look at some of the most popular rating scales used in psychology and explain what each one means in simple terms.

What are rating scales?

To put it simply, in psychology, rating scales are common instruments that researchers and practitioners use to evaluate and measure various facets of human behaviour, thoughts, and emotions. With these scales, respondents are often asked to score their experiences based on a list of standardized items or questions.  A numerical value is then given to each response, allowing for statistical analysis.

Let's take a look at some common types of rating scales used in psychology

Rating scales are frequently used in research investigations, clinical examinations, and even daily life. They can take many different forms, such as Likert scales and visual analogue scales. These scales, however, might be perplexing for beginners, which is where MyOutcomes come in. 

One of the most well-known rating scales is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which measures and assesses your personality based on four dichotomies—extraversion vs. introversion, sensing vs. intuition, thinking vs. emotion, and judging vs. perceiving. If you have ever taken a test to find out whether you are an “ENFP” or an “ISTJ,” then you have tested yourself on the MBTI scale.

If you’re curious to determine your level of anxiety, then you might take the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Both your short-term (state) and longer-term (trait) anxiety are measured by this scale. It asks that you rank each symptom, such as "I feel anxious and restless" or "I get agitated quickly," on a scale of 1 to 4, depending on how strongly you experience it. Then, it can tell your medical practitioner where exactly a patient might fit on a spectrum.

There’s still more, though. There are rating scales that exist for assessing emotions like anxiety and depression. These scales typically ask you to rate how frequently you experience particular symptoms, such as feeling depressed or anxious. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), for example, is one such measure that asks you to rate how much you've experienced various symptoms over the course of the previous week.

For a guide to rating scales in psychology, get in touch with MyOutcomes

MyOutcomes is a leading provider of online rating scales for mental health practitioners and researchers. MyOutcomes provides an easy-to-understand guide on how to use rating scales effectively, including the different types of scales, how to choose the appropriate scale for a particular situation, and how to interpret and analyze the data obtained from the scales. So don’t wait! Get all the information and help you need by reaching out to MyOutcomes asap!

You're a perfect ten on the Needs-to-Reach-Out-to-MyOutcomes-today scale!