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Subject:

Re: Central tendency with categorical variables

From:

Jay Warner <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Jay Warner <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 27 Jun 2005 22:57:52 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (101 lines)

the short answer is yes, but.....

1)    You must have the 'categorical' levels in what you can think of  
as an interval measurement scale.  A Likert scale is one such - a  
rating of 4 is greater than 4, by the same amount that 2 is greater  
than 1.  This means that the center of your Likert scale is not (no  
response) or (no opinion), but 'neutral.'  And that the scale runs  
smoothly form 'strong disagree' to 'strong agree.'

2)    the distribution of the measurements will _not_ be Normal,  
since the scale is bounded on each end.  However, you can still  
calculate the average, the standard deviation,e tc., to your heart's  
content.  Have a good trip.

3)    An average of 3.6 then means that the average response fell  
part way between the 3 rating (neutral) and agree, or somewhat agree.

If you have a hard time with that result, 3.6, then perhaps you are  
thinking that your Likert scale res;ponses are not on a continuous  
scale.  If someone answers a question with an X half way between a  
'neutral' - 3 and 'agree' - 4, how do you process this response?  Do  
you throw it away, or do you record it as a 3.5?

4)    I think you should accept this response as a nuanced response  
from your study person, and run with it.  but that is because  tend  
to respond in the middle of things, anyway.  :)

Cheers,
Jay
On Jun 27, 2005, at 5:57 AM, Omar Farook wrote:



> Dear Friends.
>
> Good morning.
>
>
>
> Is it possible to use the Mean, Median and SD for the categorical  
> variable e.g. 1-5 Likert type scale.
>
> If yes, how can I interpret the mean if it was 3.6.
>
>
>
> Thanks in advance.
>
> Omar.
>
> [log in to unmask]
>
>
>
> ---------------------------------
> Yahoo! Sports
>  Rekindle the Rivalries. Sign up for Fantasy Football
>
>
>
>

Jay Warner
Principal Scientist
Warner Consulting, Inc.
4444 North Green Bay Road
Racine, WI 53404-1216
USA

Ph:        262.634.9100
FAX:     262.681.1133
email:   [log in to unmask]
web:     www.a2q.com

The A2Q Method(tm) --- What do you want to improve today?



Jay Warner on the road,
Working out of Racine, WI, USA
through his .Mac account

[log in to unmask]
http://www.a2q.com



Jay Warner
Principal Scientist
Warner Consulting, Inc.
4444 North Green Bay Road
Racine, WI 53404-1216
USA

Ph:        262.634.9100
FAX:     262.681.1133
email:   [log in to unmask]
web:     www.a2q.com

The A2Q Method(tm) --- What do you want to improve today?

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