Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Edward G. Carmines & James Woods
In its basic form, research is about the relationships between concepts measured as variables. Researchers make inferences, draw conclusions, and form new hypotheses based on the patterns they detect in these relationships. It is important, therefore, for researchers to be as precise in their measurement of concepts as possible. The statistical techniques that can be applied to a set of variables are contingent on the level of precision at which the variables are measured. The more precise a measure, the more sophisticated statistical techniques can be employed in the analysis, and the stronger the conclusions that can be drawn. In this entry, the major levels of measurement, the appropriate statistical procedures based on them, and a few concrete examples are discussed. Measurement is usually discussed in terms of four levels, as stated by S. S. Stevens (1946). Moving from least precise to most precise, they are nominal, ordinal, interval, and ...