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Level of Measurement

Edited by: Published: 2008
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Level of measurement refers to the relationship between the numeric values of a variable and the characteristics that those numbers represent. There are five major levels of measurement: nominal, binary, ordinal, interval, and ratio. The five levels of measurement form a continuum, because as one moves from the nominal level to the ratio level, the numeric values of the variable take on an increasing number of useful mathematical properties.


Nominal variables are variables for which there is no relationship between the numeric values of the variable and characteristics those numbers represent. For example, one might have a variable "region," which takes on the numeric values 1, 2, 3, and 4, where 1 represents "North," 2 represents "South," 3 represents "East," and 4 represents "West." Region is ...

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