- A scale on which information is displayed in order of magnitude because there is no standard of measurement of differences.
- Typical scales include:
- High, Medium, Low
- Hot, Medium, Cold
- Tall, Medium, Short
Be careful using mathematical operations on ordinal scales since they only encode order. Formula such as “High x Low” does not necessarily produce any mathematically useful result.
When using an ordinal scale, the central tendency of a group of items can be described by using the group’s mode (or most common item) or its median (the middle-ranked item), but the mean (or average) cannot be defined.