Defining Variables and Attributes.docx

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University of Guelph
Sociology and Anthropology
SOAN 2120
Scott Schau

 Defining Variables and Attributes Variables must have 2 qualities S 1. Attributes must be exhaustive 2. Attributes must be mutually exclusive Ratio x and / Interval + and – Ordinal < and > Nominal = and = Levels of Measurement (triangle/pyramid) ^ Levels of measurement  Variables whose attributes have only characteristics of exhaustiveness (jointly exhaustive) and mutual exclusiveness  i.e a variable with just discrete categories cannot be ranked.  E.g gender, religious affiliation , political party affiliation, birthplace, college, hair colour.  Offer names or labels for characteristics  Allcan say about 1 people is that they are either the same of different  Example- nominal measures  .variable” dog breed”  German shepherd is different than an Australian cattle dog  CANNOT say one is more or less “dog breedy” than the other. Jointly Exhaustive and Mutually Exclusive  Jointly exhaustive: every possible observation can be classified into a attribute of the variable  Categories shoule be sufficient so that all observations can fit into one of them.  Mutually exclusive: every observation must be classified into one and only one attribute  Observation shout NOT be able to fit into two or more attributes. Levels of Measurement  Ordinal Measures  Variables with attributes that can be logically rank ordered; different attributes represent relatively more or less of the variable.  Discrete categories which can be ranked  No fixed distance between attributes of variable  E.g social class, alienation, prejudice, intellectual sophistication  Can say if people are same or different (nominal) and can say 1 is “more: than the other (ordinal)  Interval measures  Variables with attributes that have meaningful distance separating the attributes: logical distance between attributes can be expressed in meaningful standard intervals  DO not have an absolute zero point  E.g Celius temperature scale, constructed measures such as standaarized .. FINISHHHHH  Ratio measures  Variables with attributes based on a tr
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