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Discussion Question 2 - (CLOs covered: 1, 4)

1. Explain the main differences between interval and ratio scale measurements.

The main differences between interval and ratio scale measurements is the location of zero

point. The interval scale doesnot process the characteristic of origin but ratio scale does. It

means interval scale do not have zero-point even if interval scale shows the value zero

(Myllyviita, Leskinen & Seppl, 2014). For examples, thermometer is an example of interval

scales which denoted zero degree Celsius. It doesnot not mean starting points of thermometer

but represent a point where water freeze. The central values such as mode, median, and

arithmetic mean is calculated in interval scale. But Geometric mean and Harmonic doesnot

cannot be calculated (Halme,2002).

For examples, when we measure the weight, the differences between 40 to 60 pounds is the

same as the difference between 120 to 140 pounds; each 20 pounds of interval has the same

physical meaning. Therefore, we can take difference between two values in Interval scale but we

can take ratio between two values in it.

Whereas, Ratio scales possess characteristic of origin and provides the richest information

about the traits it measures among the scale types (Collier, LaPorte & Seawright, 2012). It

defined absolute zero point and enable researcher to identify or classify objects, rank the objects,

and compare intervals or differences. We also calculated ratio of scales values that absence in

interval scale. For examples, we can measure and say that the differences between 40 and 60

pounds is equal to the differences between 120 and 140 and 120 is three times as large as 40 in

an absolute sense. Ratio scales can calculated central values such as Geometric mean and

Harmonic mean (Hair, Celsi, Ortinau & Bush, 2013).

Myllyviita, T., Leskinen, P., & Seppl, J. (2014). Impact of normalization, elicitation technique

and background information on panel weighting results in life cycle assessment. The

International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 19(2), 377-386.


Halme, M. (2002, February 16). Dealing with interval scale in data envelopment analysis.

European Journal of Operational Research, 137(1), 22.

Collier, D., LaPorte, J., & Seawright, J. (2012). Putting typologies to work: Concept formation,

measurement, and analytic rigor. Political Research Quarterly, 65(1), 217-232. Retrieved


Hair, J. F., Celsi, M. W., Ortinau, D. J. & Bush, R. P. (2013). Essentials of marketing research

(3rd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.