John C. Hinkle
Good points/questions. When my wife was working on her PhD in Communications (after decades in the “real” world), I got a lot of insight into what you say. I found it really interesting how what started out as a 20 question survey that appeared really to be asking all the right questions, could be whittled down to ~7 questions that reliably ferreted out statistically significant findings once they had been trial run on a test group. The rest of the questions were unnecessary. Of course, when you do this (get the survey down to the minimum necessary questions) you have to throw out surveys where the respondent didn’t answer all the questions (which will more often occur with a 4 point scale because the respondent doesn’t like any of the choices) because a complete picture of the respondent is not then sampled.