Research methods 1
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Research Methods 1. Levels of Measurement. Self Assessment On completion of this session you should comprehend:. The differences between subjective measures and objective measures The nature of interval, ratio, nominal and ordinal measures. From research question to data collection.

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Research Methods 1

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Research Methods 1

Levels of Measurement

Self AssessmentOn completion of this session you should comprehend:

  • The differences between subjective measures and objective measures

  • The nature of interval, ratio, nominal and ordinal measures

From research question to data collection

  • Research hypothesis - operationalisation

  • What are you measuring and how are you going to measure it?

  • Independent and dependent variables


  • Parameters/Properties that vary

  • Independent variable - what is the experimenter going to manipulate?

  • Dependent variable - what is the outcome that is to be measured?

Independent and Dependent Variables

  • The investigation of the effect of ultrasound therapy on pain intensity levels.

  • The investigation of the effect of aerobic exercise on perceived mood state.

Definition of measurement

“All any measurement is is a parameter chosen

to represent the concept.”

Dane (1990)

Types of measurements

  • Objective - measurement of physical quantities and qualities using measurement equipment e.g. tape measure, electric weighing scales, goniometry

  • Subjective - ratings or judgements by humans of quantities and qualities e.g. rating ROM by eyeball estimation

  • Uses?

Types of measurements

  • Qualitative; A ‘quality’ of the subject e.g. gender, exam grade achieved etc. A characteristic or type not a measured amount.

  • Quantitative; A ‘quantity’ measured with numbers each number representing a measurement.









Types and Levels of measurements

Levels of Measurement

  • Nominal e.g. religion, eye colour

  • Ordinal e.g. age groups

  • Interval e.g. temperature (oC), intelligence

  • Ratio e.g. temperature (Kelvin), heart rate

Characteristics of measurement levels

The Parameter or the measurement?

  • Continuous scale

    Ratio level-DiscreteHeight (m)

  • Ordinal scaleHeight categories:

    short, average and tall

  • Nominal scaleHeight Grouping:

    < 1.2m > 1.7 m

    1.2m < 1.50m

    1.5m < 1.7m

Identify the Level of Measurement


  • Identify one Qualitative measure and one Quantitative measure useful in your practice.

  • Identify one parameter from each level of measurement useful in your practice.


  • Identify the level of measurement used in the journal articles chosen

  • Discuss the appropriateness of that measure

  • Suggest an alternative Level of Measurement

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