What is a semantic differential?
The semantic differential scale was developed by the American psychologist Charles E. Osgood in the 1940s and ‘50s to grasp or rather determine the affective/connotative meaning connected with words, objects, and even persons. It measures individual perceptions, including feelings and ideas towards the research topic.
Osgood’s framework to measure connotative meaning established bipolar adjectives scales to rate and systematize these perceptions within three dimensions: Evaluation (e.g., good–bad, safe–dangerous), Potency (high-low, strong-weak), and Activity (fast–slow, active–passive), commonly referred as EPA.
This qualitative method is very common in marketing and customer satisfaction researches, consumer behavior, branding, and design assessments, as well as in different kinds of opinion surveys and other questionnaires.
The Likert scale (named after the also American Psychologist Rensis Likert) is often used for similar purposes. It’s also a bipolar scale, usually applied with five or seven scores. In the Likert scale, survey participants are asked how far they agree or disagree with a given statement.
The semantic differential chart is the graphic representation of the rating scorings within the bipolar scales. Different visualizations types, like tables and stacked bars, help to analyze this type of data by showing exact values or its distribution. You should use the semantic differential chart to visualize the means of your data since its plots reflect the meaning attributed to your product/service, unveiling predominant attitudes and feelings towards it, while highlighting strengths and weakness.
How to visualize the semantic differential scale with Vizzlo?
Regardless if you’re working with the semantic differential scale or with the Likert scale, results of both rating scales can be plotted using this highly versatile vizzard. Follow these easy steps:
- Click on any element to start editing it.
- Quickly enter your data using Vizzlo’s spreadsheet (tab “DATA”) or click on the axis’ categories and fill the data using their active cards.
- Click on the series to edit their styles.
- Drag and drop categories and the series plots.
- Customize your chart using the options of tab “APPEARANCE:” customize your theme by selecting colors and fonts, choose to show and hide the grid, position the axis poles above or below the grid, opt to snap the plots to the raster and much more.
Semantic differential chart maker: key features
- Axis categories with titles and descriptions
- Custom series styles
- Custom position of the axis poles
- Optional separators
- Optional snapping to raster
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