Reinterpretation of the Likert scale for public transportation user satisfaction: Pattern recognition approach

Sung Hoo Kim, Jin Hyuk Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Myriad cities around the world conduct public transportation satisfaction investigations, and most of them use a linguistic Likert scale (i.e., it runs from strongly dissatisfied to strongly satisfied). Most such studies neglect two critical issues: users' complex cognitive systems and the fundamental problem of applying the Likert scale. Thus the present study considered those issues and analyzed public transportation user satisfaction intervals of heterogeneous groups with different cog nitive systems. The study used a Gaussian mixture model and a pattern recognition approach, with satisfaction data from public transportation users in South Korea. The results indicated that users expressed considerably different satisfaction intervals for the same linguistic Likert items: five intervals instead of the 7-point Likert scale in the survey. In addition, each Likert item was clustered into two distinguishable satisfaction intervals, and those heterogeneous groups were classified not randomly but systematically by sociodemographic attributes and characteristics of public transportation use. On the basis of the results, significant implications were found about public transportation satisfaction surveys and their analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-99
Number of pages10
JournalTransportation Research Record
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, National Research Council. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Reinterpretation of the Likert scale for public transportation user satisfaction: Pattern recognition approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this