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Re: st: Converting ratings to rankings

From   David Kantor <>
Subject   Re: st: Converting ratings to rankings
Date   Mon, 19 Jun 2006 21:51:41 -0400

At 07:45 PM 6/19/2006, Mike Stern wrote:
Hi all

I have a programming question:

I have need to convert 8 variables from a social survey that respondents
rated on a scale from 1 to 7 to implied rankings.  The survey question asks
respondents to rate 8 items relative to one issue with 1 being much less
important and 7 being much more important with 4 being just as important
(conceptual middle point).  Therefore, a ranking needs to be relative to the
center point and because it now needs to be a ranking 7 needs to be recoded
to 1, 6 needs to be recoded to 2 and so on.

This would not be a particularly thorny issue except for the fact that
respondents often rated two or more of the variables at the same level (e.g.
two or three items given a 5).  For such ratings, I am taking a 1/2 point
off their ranking.  I have a situation where if respondents rated two items
5 (after the recoding needed to convert a rating to ranking--much more
important now equaling 1 instead of 7 and much less important now equaling 7
instead of 1 and so on) the two items receive a score of 3.5.

Does anyone know of ways that stata can convert ratings to rankings without
a large number of "if then" statements for every possible combination of
duplicate ratings?

I would imagine that there is some way to avoid programming all the possible combinations, but I am not going to attempt it now. But I will tell you that these "if then" statements that you refer to should not actually be written as "if then" statements; instead, you should use "if" qualifiers (on gen and replace commands) or the cond() function.

For this task, it is preferable to avoid that sort of method if you can, but if you do need to use it, be clear about the distinction between "if" statements (or commands) and "if" qualifiers.

Good Luck and HTH,

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