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st: RE: Mean test in a Likert Scale


From   Dirk Enzmann <dirk.enzmann@uni-hamburg.de>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   st: RE: Mean test in a Likert Scale
Date   Fri, 07 Sep 2012 14:46:47 +0200

A late praise of Nick's reading list - especially pointing to the discussions is very helpful!

Dirk

On Fri, 31 Aug 2012 10:53:41 +0100 Nick Cox wrote:

From: Nick Cox<njcoxstata@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: st: RE: Mean test in a Likert Scale

However, it is possible to broaden the debate in various ways.

First, you will probably be aware that there is a massive literature
on the relationship (or otherwise) between measurement scales and
statistics. My own favourites are as below, partly because I think
both are relatively clear and partly because you can trace dissenting
discussions:

Velleman, P.F. and Wilkinson, L. 1993.  Nominal, ordinal, interval,
and ratio typologies are misleading. The American Statistician 47:
65-72. See also follow-up under "Letters to the Editor"  in 47(4) and
48(1).

[I note incidentally that the comment by David J. Hand is reported as
if from "David J. Hand and Milton Keynes". That was a mistake: "Milton
Keynes" is not a person, but a place, the town where Hand's then
institution, the Open University, is based.]

Hand, D.J. 1996. Statistics and the theory of measurement.
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A (Statistics in
Society) 159: 445-492.

[In the discussion I appear side-by-side with my namesake D.R. Cox
(the great Sir David, no relative) saying very similar things.]

Second, at the level of descriptive statistics the usual argument from
purists is that means are not justified for Likert scales but that
medians are. That still leaves scope for interpolating medians and so
using more of the information in the data. See the thread started by
J. Taggert Brooks at

http://www.stata.com/statalist/archive/2009-01/msg00652.html

and -iquantile- from SSC. The link in the help file to that thread is
broken and will be fixed by correcting the help file.

--
========================================
Dr. Dirk Enzmann
Institute of Criminal Sciences
Dept. of Criminology
Rothenbaumchaussee 33
D-20148 Hamburg
Germany

phone: +49-(0)40-42838.7498 (office)
       +49-(0)40-42838.4591 (Mrs Billon)
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email: dirk.enzmann@uni-hamburg.de
http://www2.jura.uni-hamburg.de/instkrim/kriminologie/Mitarbeiter/Enzmann/Enzmann.html
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