Levels of measurement - what you can and can't do arithmetically

3. Ordinal scales of measurement

Arithmetic operations that can be performed on values assigned to ordinal scales are also limited. As well as counting the numbers in each category on the scale it is possible to indicate relative size using equals (=), greater than (>) or less than (<) symbols.

Any operation involving addition and subtraction is not allowed - for example calculating the mean. Calculating the median and mode as measures of central tendency is appropriate as these only involve counting the numbers in each category on the scale.

  • Content author: Heather Wharrad
  • Developer: Al Leeder
  • HTML5 Conversion: Aaron Fecowycz
  • Contact: helm@nottingham.ac.uk

RLO released: 1st January, 2004

Page last updated: Wednesday 11th January 2017

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