Level of measurement
(Redirected from Levels of measurement)
Jump to navigation
Jump to search
Educational level: this is a tertiary (university) resource. 
Completion status: this resource is ~50% complete. 
Level of measurement (LoM) is an important characteristic of data. The LoM determines what types of descriptive, graphical, and inferential statistical analyses can be used. There are four levels of measurement:
Levels of measurement

Categorical/nominal[edit  edit source]
 The simplest type of variable is dichotomous (or binary, e.g., 0 = male/ 1 = female; 0 = black/ 1= white; 0 = yes/ 1 = no).
 Categorical or nominal variables simply provide numerical labels (or names) for two or more categories e.g., 0 = red/ 1 = blue/ 2 = green / 3 = yellow; 0 = car; 1 = bus; 2 = bicycle; 3 = aeroplane; 4 = train.
Ordinal[edit  edit source]
 When categorical variables can be meaningfully ordered, they become ordinal variables
 The distance between the ordered categories may vary
 e.g., 1 = 1st, 2 = 2nd, 3 = 3rd in a race; verbal frequency scale (0 = never, 1 = sometimes, 2 = often, 3 = always)
Interval[edit  edit source]
 Ordered categories (discrete values) which have equal distances (e.g., Strongly Disagree  Disagree  Neither Agree or Disagree  Agree  Strongly Agree)
 Allows use of parametrics statistics (which assume a normal distribution)
Ratio[edit  edit source]
 Continuous (not discrete)  values can take on (in theory) infinite decimal points
 Has a meaningful 0 (e.g., the 0 point isn't arbitrary), which allows ratio comparisons (e.g,. according to the sample of participants, males are, on average, 20% taller than females).