Quantitative Categorical Data Cheat Sheet

So this is my “dumbed” down attempt to help those who are newbie in quantitative studies like me.  I used the simplest examples to help explain each category. I find that having a little thing like this right in front of me as I am doing SPSS, it helps me organize my data.

Level of Measurements

Nominal: Name; gender (yes/no); no level; without any regard to the value. Order is arbitrary

Ordinal: Rank; e.g. military, grade/school; think steps. Order matters but not the difference between values; ex: movie ratings, * versus *****

Note: Likert scale falls in between Ordinal and Interval

Interval: some value to the number, equal distance, no true zero; difference between two values is meaningful; 0°C, 25°C, 50°C

Ratio: equal distance and has true zero; ex: can be open question, straight and specific number, depends how you phrase your question; $0, $20

Example of Income:

Nominal: Do you have money? Y/N

Ordinal: What is your level of income? Low/mid/hi

Interval: What is your income? 0-10,000/10,001-20,000

Ratio: How much do you have? $_______


2 thoughts on “Quantitative Categorical Data Cheat Sheet

  1. Hey there!
    I think that Likert questions are actually ordinal numbers. There is no reason to assume that the difference between strongly disagree and somewhat disagree is the same as the difference between somewhat disagree and neutral (or whatever the next box).
    Great examples!

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