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I am interested in the effect of an ordinal variable (likert type) that had 4 answer options on participants preferences of six statements (as participants ranked these, I assume this too would be ordinal data).

In the case of my data, would kendall's tau or spearmans rho be more appropriate. I know Kendall's tau can be used with tied ranks, but I am unsure as to what that means in relation to my data. I know there is a similar thread, but it doesn't have any data examples, so it is hard for me to compare it to my own.

Any advice would be much appreciated

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  • $\begingroup$ It is interesting that the question's title is almost exactly the same as the earlier duplicate. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 10:09

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I would suggest that Spearman's test is a safe option and the way to go in your case.

Both test are non-parametric so no assumption about the underlying distribution of your data. However, I believe that in general Kendall’s Tau-b is more appropriate for square tables which is not your case.

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  • $\begingroup$ One of the Kendall's $\tau$s may handle ties better and be easier to interpret for this case. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 11:16

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