# Determining The Function Of The Ordinal Scale

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Before conducting a statistical analysis, every researcher needs to measure the depended variable. The measurement depends on the type of variable. Different types are measured differently. So, the researcher has to decide on the appropriate scale of measurement. There are typically four levels of measurement: nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio.

1. The purpose of the nominal scale is for identification and represents the lowest level of measurement. With a nominal scale, the researcher only names or categorizes responses (i.e. male/female, high/low, unemployed, employed, retired, student). Thus, nominal scale measures variables that are non-numeric or where the numbers have no value.
2. The purpose of the ordinal scale is to allow comparisons of the degree to which two subjects possess the dependent variable. The ordinal scale provides a rank order (i.e. very dissatisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, somewhat satisfied, or very satisfied). However, it is the order of the values that is important, not the differences between them. Ordinal scales usually measures non-numeric variables like satisfaction, happiness, discomfort, etc
3. The Interval scale provides information about both the rank order and the exact differences between the values (i.e. pain scale). However, interval scales do not have a true zero point.
4. The Ratio scale (i.e. height and weight) is the most informative scale because it tells the researcher about order, the exact value between units, and has a