### Abstract

This article describes a new measure of dispersion as an indication of consensus and dissention. Building on the generally accepted Shannon entropy, this measure utilizes a probability distribution and the ordered ranking of categories in an ordinal scale distribution to yield a value confined to the unit interval. Unlike other measures that need to be normalized, this measure is always in the interval 0 to 1. The measure is typically applied to the Likert scale to determine degrees of agreement among ordinal-ranked categories when one is dealing with data collection and analysis, although other scales are possible. Using this measure, investigators can easily determine the proximity of ordinal data to consensus (agreement) or dissention. Consensus and dissention are defined relative to the degree of proximity of values constituting a frequency distribution on the ordinal scale measure. The authors identify a set of criteria that a measure must satisfy in order to be an acceptable indicator of consensus and show how the consensus measure satisfies all the criteria.

Original language | English |
---|---|

Pages (from-to) | 487-494 |

Number of pages | 8 |

Journal | Behavior Research Methods |

Volume | 38 |

Issue number | 3 |

State | Published - Aug 2006 |

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### All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

- Psychology(all)
- Psychology (miscellaneous)
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

### Cite this

*Behavior Research Methods*,

*38*(3), 487-494.

**An information theoretic measure for the evaluation of ordinal scale data.** / Tastle, W. J.; Wierman, M. J.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article

*Behavior Research Methods*, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 487-494.

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - An information theoretic measure for the evaluation of ordinal scale data

AU - Tastle, W. J.

AU - Wierman, M. J.

PY - 2006/8

Y1 - 2006/8

N2 - This article describes a new measure of dispersion as an indication of consensus and dissention. Building on the generally accepted Shannon entropy, this measure utilizes a probability distribution and the ordered ranking of categories in an ordinal scale distribution to yield a value confined to the unit interval. Unlike other measures that need to be normalized, this measure is always in the interval 0 to 1. The measure is typically applied to the Likert scale to determine degrees of agreement among ordinal-ranked categories when one is dealing with data collection and analysis, although other scales are possible. Using this measure, investigators can easily determine the proximity of ordinal data to consensus (agreement) or dissention. Consensus and dissention are defined relative to the degree of proximity of values constituting a frequency distribution on the ordinal scale measure. The authors identify a set of criteria that a measure must satisfy in order to be an acceptable indicator of consensus and show how the consensus measure satisfies all the criteria.

AB - This article describes a new measure of dispersion as an indication of consensus and dissention. Building on the generally accepted Shannon entropy, this measure utilizes a probability distribution and the ordered ranking of categories in an ordinal scale distribution to yield a value confined to the unit interval. Unlike other measures that need to be normalized, this measure is always in the interval 0 to 1. The measure is typically applied to the Likert scale to determine degrees of agreement among ordinal-ranked categories when one is dealing with data collection and analysis, although other scales are possible. Using this measure, investigators can easily determine the proximity of ordinal data to consensus (agreement) or dissention. Consensus and dissention are defined relative to the degree of proximity of values constituting a frequency distribution on the ordinal scale measure. The authors identify a set of criteria that a measure must satisfy in order to be an acceptable indicator of consensus and show how the consensus measure satisfies all the criteria.

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UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33947496575&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 38

SP - 487

EP - 494

JO - Behavior Research Methods

JF - Behavior Research Methods

SN - 1554-351X

IS - 3

ER -