Statistics and Probability Dictionary

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Ordinal Scale

The ordinal scale is a type of measurement scale. Each value on the ordinal scale has a unique meaning, and it has an ordered relationship to every other value on the scale.

An example of an ordinal scale in action would be the results of a horse race, reported as "win", "place", and "show". We know the rank order in which horses finished the race. The horse that won finished ahead of the horse that placed, and the horse that placed finished ahead of the horse that showed. However, we cannot tell from this ordinal scale whether it was a close race or whether the winning horse won by a mile.

See also:  Scales of Measurement