Consensus and dissention: A measure of ordinal dispersion

William J. Tastle, Mark J. Wierman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


A new measure of dispersion is introduced as a representation of consensus (agreement) and dissention (disagreement). Building on the generally accepted Shannon entropy, this measure utilizes a probability distribution and the distance between categories to produce a value spanning the unit interval. The measure is applied to the Likert scale (or any ordinal scale) to determine degrees of consensus or agreement. Using this measure, data on ordinal scales can be given a value of dispersion that is both logically and theoretically sound.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-545
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Approximate Reasoning
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Applied Mathematics


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