Document Uploaded by J.D. Lim
Ratios between numbers on the scale are not meaningful, so operations such as multiplication anddivision cannot be carried out directly. But ratios of differences can be expressed; for example, onedifference can be twice another.The central tendency of a variable measured at the interval level can be represented by its mode, itsmedian, or its arithmetic mean. Statistical dispersion can be measured in most of the usual ways, which just involved differences or averaging, such as range, interquartile range, and standard deviation. Sinceone cannot divide, one cannot define measures that require a ratio, such as studentized range or coefficient of variation. More subtly, while one can define moments about the origin, only central momentsare useful, since the choice of origin is arbitrary and not meaningful. One can define standardizedmoments, since ratios of differences are meaningful, but one cannot define coefficient of variation, sincethe mean is a moment about the origin, unlike the standard deviation, which is (the square root of) acentral moment.
Most measurement in the physical sciences and engineering is done on ratio scales. Mass, length, time,plane angle, energy and electric charge are examples of physical measures that are ratio scales. Thescale type takes its name from the fact that measurement is the estimation of the ratio between amagnitude of a continuous quantity and a unit magnitude of the same kind (Michell, 1997, 1999).Informally, the distinguishing feature of a ratio scale is the possession of a non-arbitrary zero value. For example, the Kelvin temperature scale has a non-arbitrary zero point of absolute zero, which is denoted0K and is equal to -273.15 degrees Celsius. This zero point is non arbitrary as the particles that comprisematter at this temperature have zero kinetic energy.Examples of ratio scale measurement in the behavioural sciences are all but non-existent. Luce (2000)argues that an example of ratio scale measurement in psychology can be found in rank and signdependent expected utility theory.All statistical measures can be used for a variable measured at the ratio level, as all necessarymathematical operations are defined. The central tendency of a variable measured at the ratio level canbe represented by, in addition to its mode, its median, or its arithmetic mean, also its geometric mean or harmonic mean. In addition to the measures of statistical dispersion defined for interval variables, such asrange and standard deviation, for ratio variables one can also define measures that require a ratio, suchas studentized range or coefficient of variation.They have different degrees of usefulness in statistical research. Ratio measurements have both a zerovalue defined and the distances between different measurements defined; they provide the greatestflexibility in statistical methods that can be used for analyzing the data. Interval measurements havemeaningful distances between measurements defined, but have no meaningful zero value defined (as inthe case with IQ measurements or with temperature measurements in Fahrenheit). Ordinalmeasurements have imprecise differences between consecutive values, but have a meaningful order tothose values. Nominal measurements have no meaningful rank order among values.Since variables conforming only to nominal or ordinal measurements cannot be reasonably measurednumerically, sometimes they are called together as categorical variables, whereas ratio and intervalmeasurements are grouped together as quantitative or continuous variables due to their numerical nature.Some well-known statistical tests and procedures are:
Analysis of variance (ANOVA)