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Ratio Scale in Research Methodology

Ratio scale has all the characteristics to make it a pure scale especially for the research related to pure sciences. Ratio scale has all the characteristics of interval scale plus the additional benefit that it has a well-defined zero. It also takes into account the ratios between different values of the variables.

Characteristics of ratio scale

Ratio scale has order and equally distanced values between units and at the same time has an absolute zero as well. It can quantify the difference between each value and ratios can also be calculated. Though, unlike interval scale, this scale does not have negative numbers because of absolute zero. To know whether a variable can be measured on the ratio scale one should see that whether it meets all the requirements for the interval scale if it does and it has an absolute zero then it can be measured on the ratio scale.


Statistical analysis of ratio scale

A wide range of all descriptive and inferential statistics can be applied on the ratio scale. All statistical analysis including mean, median, mode, variance, standard deviation, and the range can be calculated on a ratio scale. In addition, statistical tests like t-test, f-test, correlation, chi-square etc can also be calculated on ratio scale variable.

For detailed overview of the measurement scales read Types of Measurement Scales in Research


  1. Gideon Vigderhous, The Level of Measurement and Permissible Statistical Analysis in Social Research, Pacific Sociological Review, Vol. 20, No. 1, 1977, pp. 61-72.
  3. Campbell MJ, Machin D, Wiley J. Medical Statistics: A Commonsense Approach, Vol. 2. London: Wiley; 1993.



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