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In the hierarchy of measurement levels, the ordinal scale is usually considered the second lowest classification order, falling between the nominal and interval scales. An ordinal scale is a measurement scale that allocates values to variables based on their relative ranking with respect to one another in a given data set. Ordinal-level measurements indicate a logical hierarchy among the variables and provide information on whether something being measured varies in degree, but does not specifically quantify the magnitude between successive ranks. The measurement taxonomy, including the ordinal scale terminology, was first brought forth by psychologist Stanley Smith Stevens in his 1946 seminal paper and has subsequently guided the selection of appropriate statistical techniques despite debates on its limitations, data exceptions, and contemporary relevance.

Ordinal-scale variables may ...

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