Experimental psychologists frequently ask people to rate things on a scale: How difficult is this task (1=super easy, 5=way hard); Are you a big drinker (1=no, 2=not sure, 3=yes); Is this task difficult because you are currently drunk (1=no, 7=what's the question again?). Etc.
The concept of a ratings scale is pretty simple and widely applicable. Yet somehow, just because some guy named Rensis Likert wrote a paper about using these scales back in 1932, whenever researchers mention a ratings scale in a study, they call it a Likert scale. Here's an example from a paper I covered for an upcoming issue of Psychology Today: "Participants made these ratings on a 9-point Likert scale (1 = not at all physically attractive/sexually promiscuous, 9 = very physically attractive/sexually promiscuous)."
Under US law, obtaining a patent requires that your invention is nonobvious. Here is a concept that is both obvious, and not even this guy's invention, and it's now named after him. It makes me wonder what it would take to get the checkbox named after me. Or for researchers to have to write stuff like "Subjects then answered a Hutson yes-or-no question about whether they liked cake."
(On your way out, please rate this post on a 1-point Likert scale in the comments section. (1=nerdy but kinda rad). I'll be running stats shortly.)