How are you feeling, out of 10?

I was just thinking about something: When a doctor (or another personell with medical judgement capacities) asks you: “How are you feeling, out of 10?”, what does this actually mean? How do they base a diagnosis on people’s idiosyncratic judgement and experiences?

I, personally, don’t think that our brain can handle a 10-point scale very well; too many options. What does it mean anyway? What’s 1? If 1 = ‘knocked out on a stretcher’, then I would not be conscious enough to answer the question in the first place. This leaves us with a 9-point scale, which is even more difficult to process.

Why don’t they just use a 5-point scale as it is used in many other surveys?


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