Ordinal Scale

Fundamentals of Social Statistics by Adam J. McKee

With the ordinal scale, not only are measurements placed in categories (as with the nominal scale), but they are also ranked in order of magnitude.  Variable that are rank orders of scores are on the ordinal scale.  If someone tells you, “I graduated third in my class,” they are providing an example of an ordinal scale.  We do not know the person’s precise GPA, but we know he did better than the person graduating fourth in the class and not as good as the person graduating second.  Thus, with the ordinal scale, we can put people in order, but we do not know the magnitude of the difference between people.

The Ordinal Scale provides both a name and order information but does not provide a measure of the difference between levels, such as with ranks.


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Last Modified:  06/03/2021

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