Five statistical models for Likert-type experimental data on acceptability judgments
Keywords:Likert scale, acceptability judgement, experiment, marginal verb, prefix, Russian
This paper contributes to the ongoing debate over Likert scale experiments, in particular the issues of how to treat acceptability judgment data (as ordinal or interval) and what statistical model is appropriate to apply. We analyze empirical data on native speakers’ intuitions regarding marginal change-of state verbs in Russian (e.g. ukonkretit’ ‘concretize’, ovnešnit’ ‘externalize’) and compare the outcomes of five statistical models (parametric and non-parametric tests): (1) ANOVA; (2) Ordinal Logistic Regression Model; (3) Mixed-Effects Regression Model for Ordinal data; (4) Regression Tree and Random Forests Model; and (5) Classification Tree and Random Forests Model. We make four claims: (1) all five models are appropriate for this data to a greater or lesser degree; (2) overall, the outcomes of parametric and non-parametric tests applied to this data provide comparable results; (3) Classification Tree and Random Forests Model is the most appropriate, informative, and user-friendly regarding this data; and (4) the use of a culturally entrenched grading scale is an advantage.
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