Let me tell you about really cool social hack that I learned. This hack will remove ambiguity when gauging someone else’s opinion. All you have to do is eliminate 7 from the 1 to 10 rating scale. While this seems like an odd thing to do, just stick with me and it’ll make perfect sense by the end.
The Problem With Rating Scales
In general, a rating scale allows you to assign a value to something as a measure of some attribute. Rating scales can use numbers, stars, or some other value.
When you ask someone to rate something on a scale of 1 to 10, you expect them to quantify their honest opinion. In doing so, you can better understand their stance on the topic at hand.
Common rating scales include:
- 1-10 Attractiveness Scale where guys quantify the attractiveness of girls on a scale of 1 to 10
- Pain Scale where doctors ask patients to rate their pain out of 10 where 10 is unimaginable pain
- Amazon’s 5 Star Rating System where customers rate the quality and satisfaction of a product
Regardless of what rating scale is used, there usually tends to be a number where it becomes hard to understand the true sentiment.
Take Amazon for example. Is a product with a rating of 3.5 stars good or bad? It’s not 1 or 2 starts so it’s not bad, but it’s not 4 or 5 stars so it’s not good either.
See what I mean?
10 Point Rating Scale Without 7
When you eliminate 7 from the 10 point scale, you consequently eliminate ambiguity. Let me explain with a concrete example.
In order to gauge someone’s opinion, you may ask them after dinner to rate the tastiness of their meal on a scale of 1 to 10. Usually, any answer below 7 means that the food was unsatisfactory while an answer of 8, 9, or 10 means the food was increasingly good.
On the other hand, rating the meal with a 7 is a safe bet—average at best—especially considering a 7 out of 10 in school is a C.
It’s hard to tell if someone who rates their meal a 7 is just being polite. Did they like the food or not? As a result, 7 is frequently an unhelpful response.
Rather than giving the rater this safe option, eliminate 7 from your 1 to 10 rating scale from the beginning. In doing so, you’ll remove any ambiguity. A response of 6 or below is a no while a response of 8 or above is a yes. No more maybes.
On a Scale of 1 to 10
So the next time you ask someone to rate something on a scale of 1 to 10, tell them that they can’t use 7. This little trick will certainly better help you understand someone else’s opinion.