Using Bogardus Social Scale In A Survey: What You Need To Know? 

Using Bogardus Social Scale In A Survey: What You Need To Know? 

Wondering how to use a Bogardus Social Scale in a survey? 

We live in a pretty small world. Despite people’s best efforts to bridge the gap, reports of ethnic or racial abuse continue to surface.

This is where the Bogardus social distance scale comes in handy. Pondering the what, how, and why? Don’t worry; we have you covered!

Bogardus Social Scale: The Meaning 

A Bogardus social distance scale is a measurement technique that calculates the degree of closeness people feel towards members belonging to different ethical, religious, or ethnic groups. This scale also helps you determine the degree of warmth, indifference, hostility, and intimacy between people from diverse groups. 

This scale was devised in 1924 by Emory Bogardus. This measure is unidimensional in nature. By using this technique, you can determine at what point prejudice has been expressed against a specific ethnic or racial group. 

One of the best things about this scale is that it is the oldest yet most reliable method of psychological evaluation. This scale also shows cumulative results. Therefore, if one item agrees with a question, the other would also agree. 

Use Cases For Bogardus Social Scale

A Bogardus social distance scale can be pretty helpful. Here are some cases where this scale can be used. 

1. It Can Help Develop A Healthy Culture

This scale measures the degree of social distance individuals feel towards members of different ethnic and racial groups. By using this scale, organizations and communities can identify areas where biases or prejudices may exist towards specific groups and work to address them.

Developing a healthy culture requires openness and acceptance of all individuals, regardless of their background. Using the Bogardus Social Attitude Scale, organizations can understand their employees’ attitudes toward different groups and work to promote diversity and inclusion. 

Individuals from all backgrounds can feel respected and valued in a workplace that fosters acceptance and understanding.

2. It Can Help Find the Perfect Leaders

With the Bogardus Social Scale, employers can assess potential candidates’ attitudes toward diversity and inclusion, which are critical in our multicultural and globalized world. An organization’s productivity, employee engagement, and retention will increase when its leaders have low social distance.

Organizations can use various tools to identify the most suitable and effective leaders who can drive the organization’s success.

RELATED: The Why and How of Building Employee Strengths

3. It Enhances Diversity

In today’s increasingly diverse society, creating an inclusive culture is the right thing to do and an intelligent business decision. Diversity and inclusivity promote top talent attraction, foster innovation, and improve customer understanding for organizations. 

By understanding employees’ attitudes toward different groups, Bogardus can guide them toward a more diverse and inclusive organizational culture.

RELATED: 35+ Diversity Equality and Inclusion Survey Question

4. It Helps Improve Bonding

The Bogardus Social Distance Scale can encourage open communication and understanding among team members. By discussing their social distance scores and addressing any discrepancies, team members can better understand each other’s backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. 

As a result of this increased understanding, team bonding can be enhanced through empathy, respect, and trust.

5. It Helps Highlight A Message

Several companies surveyed the Covid-19 pandemic. The leaders found out that the pandemic brought people together. 

This technique can help bring out the message of equality ad diversity. 

Key Characteristics Of Bogardus Social Scale 

The key characteristics of the Bogardus Social Scale are as follows:

  • It measures the social distance

The scale measures the level of social distance, closeness, or separation an individual feels towards different ethnic and racial groups.

  • It uses a numerical rating system

Based on a numerical rating scale of 1 to 7, higher scores indicate greater social distance. In comparison, lower scores indicate less social distance.

  • It measures attitudes toward multiple groups

The scale assesses attitudes towards multiple ethnic and racial groups, comprehensively assessing an individual’s attitudes and perceptions.

  • It can be adapted to different contexts

With this scale, attitudes and perceptions can be assessed in various settings, including workplaces, institutions, and communities.

  • It can identify biases and prejudices

The scale can identify biases and prejudices an individual may hold towards different ethnic and racial groups, providing valuable insights into areas requiring attention.

Pros & Cons Of Bogardus Social Scale 


  • Provides a quantitative measure: The scale provides a numerical score that can be easily interpreted and compared across different individuals and groups.
  • Identifies areas of bias and prejudice: The scale can identify areas where individuals may hold biases or prejudices towards certain ethnic and racial groups.
  • Can guide interventions: The scale can help address biases and prejudices and promote inclusivity and diversity.
  • Can track changes over time: The scale can be used to track changes in attitudes and perceptions over time, allowing for the evaluation of the effectiveness of interventions.


  • Self-reported data: The scale relies on self-reported data, possibly subject to social desirability bias. Individuals may provide socially desirable responses rather than their proper attitudes and perceptions.
  • Limited scope: The scale only measures social distance towards ethnic and racial groups and may not capture other dimensions of diversity such as gender, sexual orientation, or ability.
  • Cultural differences: The scale may not be applicable across different cultures and contexts, as attitudes towards diversity and inclusivity may vary across diverse communities.
  • Can oversimplify complex issues: The scale simplifies complex issues related to attitudes and perceptions toward diversity by presenting a single numerical score.

The Conclusion

The Bogardus Social Scale is a helpful tool for measuring an individual’s level of social distance towards different ethnic and racial groups. It provides a quantitative measure that can identify areas where biases and prejudices may exist and guide interventions to promote inclusivity and diversity. 

Overall, the Bogardus Social Scale can be a valuable tool in understanding and addressing issues related to diversity and inclusivity. Still, it should be used alongside other assessment tools and interpreted with caution.

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