- Gas prices is a ratio variable because it has an absolute zero (Patten and Newhart 117), and it is possible to make up a meaningful ratio from two of its different values. For example, a price of gas of $100 per unit is two times as high as the price of $50, and these two values are related according to the 2:1 ratio. The variable is quantitative as it possesses information about quantities which can be recorded in the form of specific numbers. Gas prices can be described with such statistics as mean, standard deviation, frequency (within certain subgroups), percentile, range, minimum and maximum.
- Gender (male and female) – is a qualitative variable measuring certain characteristics in a non-numerical way. It is also not possible to say that either of the gender options is mathematically lower or higher than the other, and it is not possible to order these options. Therefore, gender in this case can be interpreted as a nominal variable. It can be described with such statistical measure as frequency. Means for gender can only be calculated if it is represented in the form of a dummy variable where one of the gender options is recorded as 0, and another – as 1.
- Employment status (fully employed, partially employed, unemployed) – similarly to the previous case, is a qualitative nominal variable which represents a certain employment status of an individual. It can be summarized with frequency descriptive statistics or, alternatively, with the mode indicator which can be useful for some types of research.
- Grades (A, B, C, D, or F) – is a qualitative ordinal variable as these levels of academic achievement can be arranged in a meaningful order with non-meaningful intervals between them. Grades can be summarized by such descriptive statistics as mode, median, and frequency.
- Grade point average (GPA) is an interval measurement as subtraction is relevant, and the distances between values are meaningful, but ratios do not make sense. For interval variables, it is not possible to say that if a certain value is 36, it is three times higher than the corresponding value of 12 (d’Alessandro 240). Similarly, for GPA range, a GPA of 4.0 does not mean a level of knowledge which is two times higher than that of 2.0 GPA. GPA is a quantitative variable for which the descriptive statistics measures of mean, minimum, maximum, standard deviation, percentile, range, group frequency, and median can be computed.
- Body temperature – is a quantitative interval variable, as the absolute zero in this case does not mean absence of temperature but rather a certain arbitrary point. The intervals in body temperature are meaningful as they reflect more information than just the pattern of relative order. Body temperature can be characterized by minimums, maximums, means, standards deviations, ranges, group frequencies, percentiles, and medians. For the cases when the variable distribution is skewed, median can be a better representation of central tendency than the mean.
- Distance from student homes to Trident University is a quantitative variable which is a ratio. Here, the distance of 4 kilometers is two times bigger than that of 2 kilometers, which means that not only the interval values are meaningful, but also that the ratio variables can be calculated. Distances to home from the university can be summarized with medians, means, group frequencies, percentiles, standard deviations, minimums, maximums, and ranges.
d’Alessandro, Steve, et al. Marketing Research: Asia-Pacific Edition. Cengage AU, 2017.
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Patten, Mildred L., and Michelle Newhart. Understanding Research Methods: An Overview of the Essentials. Routledge, 2017.