Glossaire de termes statistiques : Définition Ordinal scale

Ordinal scales permit us to establish a hierarchy (better/worse, bigger/smaller, etc.) using rank values. In terms of levels of measurement, ordinal scales come in above the nominal scale. As for location parameters, mode and median can be identified.

A typical example of an ordinal scale is ranking in the military (a general stands above a lieutenant, a lieutenant above a sergeant, etc.).

Within an ordinal scale we cannot calculate an average (or arithmetic mean). An example: a survey asks about consumer behavior regarding different flavors of ice cream. The respondents have to specify for the varieties strawberry, chocolate and vanilla, whether they like each flavor (1) not at all, (2) not very, (3) quite like or (4) very much. Looking at the results of the survey, we can calculate, whether strawberry ice cream is more popular than vanilla. We cannot establish, however, how much stronger the affection for strawberry ice cream is. 

Les définitions de notre encyclopédie sont des explications simplifiées de termes. Notre but est de rendre ces définitions compréhensibles pour un large public. Par conséquent, il est possible que certaines d’entre elles ne soient pas entièrement à la hauteur des standards scientifiques.

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