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We just got a question How do I compare the results between two different Likert Scales questionnaires? from a newly registered user. Under "Related", I see a question asked four years ago: How can I compare the results of two Likert scale surveys? (The poster was last seen more than three years ago.)

The two questions look eerily similar. Compare the last paragraph of the 2024 question:

I just want to compare the results and show that 'X' electronic health record is revealed to be much more useable for pharmacy students.

to the last paragraph of the 2020 question:

I just want to compare the results and show that 'X' application is ranked to be much more useable.

I find it rather strange that two people would independently come up with so very similar questions. Or maybe some teacher is re-running their course from four years ago and re-using the same wording on their homework questions?

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  • $\begingroup$ This definitely seems odd.; But what to do about it? Also, while the two questions are eerily similar, they also differ in some key aspects - the old question had the same people taking both tests, the new one has different people. $\endgroup$
    – Peter Flom
    Mar 13 at 10:02
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    $\begingroup$ When you ask a q., the system suggests similar ones - or you might search for them before starting. Especially if you're new to the site, you might decide to use a previous q. as a template for yours. $\endgroup$ Mar 13 at 10:50
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    $\begingroup$ Also, is it really plausible that someone is doing their dissertation, which is composed of a single comparison of a likert rating between two groups and doesn't know how to do it? What kind of shoddy Ph.D. program is that? $\endgroup$ Mar 13 at 11:41
  • $\begingroup$ @gung I don't see any indication this is for a Ph.D. $\endgroup$
    – whuber Mod
    Mar 13 at 11:56
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    $\begingroup$ @whuber The first sentence of the newer question says "for my dissertation" which, to me, strongly implies PhD although some people use it for the paper you submit for a Master's. $\endgroup$
    – Peter Flom
    Mar 13 at 12:23
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    $\begingroup$ @gung-ReinstateMonica Yeah, I touched on that in my answer to the new question. I suppose it's possible that this is one minor part of their dissertation. Or it could be U. of Phoenix (an online place). I've had some clients from there whose PhDs were a joke. $\endgroup$
    – Peter Flom
    Mar 13 at 12:25
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    $\begingroup$ @PeterFlom, if it is so, then this would add to the perennial growing folklore of U. of Phoenix. $\endgroup$ Mar 13 at 13:01
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    $\begingroup$ @Peter Many institutions require dissertations even for a Bachelors' degree (sometimes as an honors requirement). $\endgroup$
    – whuber Mod
    Mar 13 at 13:24
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    $\begingroup$ In British universities it's very common, even usual, for a Dissertation to be a final year commitment for a BA or BSc degree. (And the topics and standards are often similar to those for Master's degrees in some other countries, but that's a different story.) Sometimes it's called a Project formally, and a dissertation informally. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Mar 13 at 13:28
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    $\begingroup$ There has to be a good joke about a Phoenix emerging from the ashes, but I can't quite make it, yet a meta-comment might do as well as a comment on Meta. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Mar 13 at 13:30
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    $\begingroup$ @PeterFlom: academia.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4471/… $\endgroup$ Mar 13 at 14:38
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    $\begingroup$ It's a new one on me. I've definitely heard of undergraduate theses, and likewise for masters, but I've only ever heard of a dissertation for a doctorate degree (not all of which are Ph.D.'s, of course). $\endgroup$ Mar 13 at 15:20
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    $\begingroup$ I needed to complete a dissertation (theoretical) & a project (experimental) for my BA; just a dissertation for my MSc; &, had I carried on, it I'm pretty sure it would've been a thesis for my PhD. (Also it's not stated that the survey design & analysis constitute the entirety of the dissertation work.) $\endgroup$ Mar 13 at 16:53
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    $\begingroup$ @PeterFlom: England. A source whose credibility I haven't the slightest idea of states that U.K. & U.S. usage are quite opposite: scribbr.co.uk/faqs/dissertation-vs-thesis $\endgroup$ Mar 13 at 17:16
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    $\begingroup$ That's been my experience too. (Two people separated by a common language) $\endgroup$
    – Peter Flom
    Mar 13 at 18:08

1 Answer 1

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I am the person that made the post! I did use the "How can I compare the results of two Likert scale surveys?" post as a template as I noticed that the question the person asked was quite similar to the issue I am having troubles right now. I admit, I copy and pasted the template but just edited some of the things that were different. For that, I apologise for not crediting the original poster. I was reading the comments on the original post, but I saw that that there was only two comments on it, so I wanted to repost this question (in the form of my project) in hopes to get more people's thoughts!

To clarify, I am a final year undergraduate student studying Bachelor of Pharmacy. I am currently doing a Final Year Project (FYP) where I am researching on the difference between two distinct academic Electronic Health Record platforms to assess students' perceptions on what features or potential factors make an optimal academic Electronic Health Record. The final outcome of the FYP is to determine what things can be modified or fine-tuned in academic Electronic Health Record systems to better prepare pharmacy students for clinical practice in the future (i.e. in the hospital).

Specifically, I designed two questionnaires (one for Year 4 students using Platform A, and the other for Year 3 students using Platform B) in the form of Likert scales. Both questionnaires are identical with a set of 20 statements in total. I have collected all the data, and also calculated the weighted mean for each individual question. However, I am unsure how I can further go about in analysing between the two surveys... Even after doing a bit of research, most videos just explain how to analyse ONE set of likert scale, rather than comparing between two sets of data.

For now, I am planning to just directly compare the mean results of each statement for my discussion section, but I want to know if there's a more efficient way / more fruitful way to discuss the data (I feel like just comparing between the mean between the two data sets may not be that meaningful...).

If any of you are able to share some insight on what I can do, please let me know! Sorry again for any troubles caused and thank you for reading up til here!

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for clarifying! No harm done, I was just a little surprised at the similiarities. There is no problem whatsoever in basing a question off an earlier one; it's just helpful if you could next time point to the "original" and explain how your question differs from the earlier one, otherwise your question could be closed as a duplicate of the earlier one. $\endgroup$ Mar 13 at 16:28
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    $\begingroup$ This clears things up and provides insight at what happened there. As for your query, it seems Peter has given a correct assessment of your situation; you may ask Peter for further clarifications if needed. Best wishes. $\endgroup$ Mar 13 at 16:39

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