Mark Hammer

About 11 years ago, I collaborated with a colleague at the Merit Systems Protection Board on a comparison of Canadian and American federal employee survey results. We (the Canadian half) had used a 4-pt/no-middle scale, and the American surveys had used a 5-pt scale with a neutral middle option. We used multiple blind raters to flag survey items that were interchangeable between surveys (unanimity was required for an item to be considered the same across surveys). When the American survey data was converted to %-of-those-with-an-opinion, to be roughly equivalent to our 4-pt scale format, it was pretty remarkable just how close the two federal public services were in their responses; often within 2-3 percentage points of each other for the same items, and sometimes identical.