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Thread: Is this variable ordinal or categorical - which test?

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    Is this variable ordinal or categorical - which test?




    Hi,

    I'm not sure if this variable classifies as an ordinal or categorical DV, due to this issue I'm havign and therefore, I'm unsure which stats test to use. My DV is a measure of perceived harm and the answers are as follows:
    1) Less harmful
    2) As harmful
    3) More harmful
    4) Don't know

    If I had gone for just the first 3 levels, it'd be ordinal but since I've got "don't know", it's no longer ordinal - btw, it's important for me to keep the fourth level in as the question is about a contentious issue and a lot of people felt unsure about it. Anyway, - I'm hoping to test it against a number of IVs - some continous, some ordinal. If anyone could advise, that'd be great. Big thanks!!!

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    Re: Is this variable ordinal or categorical - which test?

    I think for analytical reason you have to remove it. You could then point out that it is a contentious issue and what the don't knows mean in that context. You would follow it up with something like: Of those who did not respond "Don't know" the results were ...and generate your ordinal analysis. Polls often take a subset of voters and do follow up analysis so you would be in good standing to do this.

    It is safest to consider this ordinal although some might hold out for interval (which requires you to assume the distance between each level is the same). This is the common dispute on likert type data.
    "Very few theories have been abandoned because they were found to be invalid on the basis of empirical evidence...." Spanos, 1995

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    Re: Is this variable ordinal or categorical - which test?

    hi,
    I agree with noetsi also due to practical reasons. Why would you mix the opinions of people who do not have a clear idea of the question with those who do? They seem to be different populations.

    regards
    rogojel

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    Fran2014 (08-29-2014)

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    Re: Is this variable ordinal or categorical - which test?


    Thanks guys. It was an experimental psychology question, so they're all part of a similar sample (smokers) but it was an exploratory variable, and an issue many are uncertain of, which is why we had to go for an I don't know option. Thanks for your help.

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