I know that we when we discuss attribute types, we distinguish between nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio.

I have a data set with these attributes:

  1. price: median housing price in USD
  2. crime: crimes committed per capita
  3. nox: nitrous oxide, parts per 100 mill.
  4. rooms: avg number of rooms per house
  5. dist: weighted dist. to 5 employ centers
  6. radial: accessibiliy index to radial hghwys
  7. proptax: property tax per $1000
  8. stratio: average student-teacher ratio
  9. lowstat: percentage of people 'lower status'
  10. lprice: log(price)
  11. lnox: log(nox)
  12. lproptax: log(proptax)

I have tried determining the attribute type of each of these attributes. I have found that all the attributes are ratios except of radial which is ordinal. Is this correct? I have some troubles distinguishing between ratio and interval.

Besides, rooms seems to be an average of an ordinal attribute. Does this make it a ratio?

The housing price is a median price. Normally, when you find the median value, you order the items and pick the element in the middle, so I wonder if this attribute is an ordinal attribute?

  • $\begingroup$ I suspect few experienced statisticians actually proceed by trying to classify variable types (and I know that many counsel against it), so I am wondering: why do you care how these variables might be classified? What effects would that have on anything you do with these data? BTW, it would be erroneous to classify many of these as being of Stevens' ratio type. Certainly Stevens would not have considered radial, lowstat, lprice, lnox, or lproptax as being ratio variables. $\endgroup$
    – whuber
    Sep 28, 2015 at 20:27
  • $\begingroup$ I agree that it doesn't make much sense to classify the variable types, but I have to show that I know how this should be done. Why wouldn't Stevens classify those variables as ratio? What would he have classified them as? $\endgroup$
    – Jamgreen
    Sep 28, 2015 at 20:34
  • $\begingroup$ Why do you have to show this? If this is a homework or textbook question, then please indicate it by applying the self-study tag. Such questions, due to their artificial nature, are answered a little differently here than other questions. $\endgroup$
    – whuber
    Sep 28, 2015 at 22:02


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