Ratings are summaries of behaviors or attitudes that have been organized according to a set of rules. Although the general use of the term in research can refer to written data, such as an anecdotal report, a rating usually refers to a number assigned according to a defined scale.

Ratings can be quantified, as numbers or scores chosen to identify the position on a scale, or they can be graphic indicators. Likert-type scales, for example, provide a balanced list of alternatives from which raters may choose to indicate a response to a statement or question. The response chosen is attached to a quantity that becomes a score for use in data analysis. A rating item designed in this way might appear as shown below:

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