How we change what others think, feel, believe and do

# Rank Order scale

Explanations > Social ResearchMeasurement > Rank Order scale

## Description

A Rank Order scale gives the respondent a set of items and asks them to put the items in some form of order.

The measure of 'order' can include such as preference, importance, liking, effectiveness and so on.

The order is often a simple ordinal structure (A is higher than B). It can also be done by relative position (A scores 10 whilst B scores 6).

## Example

Please write a letter next to the four evening activities below to show your preference. Use A for your most preferred activity, B for the next preferred, then C for the next and then D for the least preferred.

__ Staying in and watching television
__ Going bowling
__ Going out for a meal
__ Going to a bar with a friend

## Discussion

Sorting of ordinal data can be done in several ways:

• Priority sorting looks for the most important first, then the next most important and so on.
• Block sorting sorts items in to sub groups and then sorts the sub-groups (this is more important, that is less important -- then sort the 'more important' group).
• Score sorting gives an absolute score to each item.
• Pairwise sorting compares pairs of items, moving the more important item higher or giving it a higher score.
• Q-Sorting is done by writing items on cards (Q-cards) and asking the subject to place these in order.
• Swap-sorting uses pairwise comparison on cards or Post-It Notes in a vertical column, swapping each pair in turn until the whole column is in order.

Rank order items are analyzed using Spearman or Kendall correlation.

The Rank Order scale is also known as the Ranking scale.

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