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There are four level of measurement that are nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio. Nominal is considered the lowest level of measurement and divides into categories the results. Ordinal measurements sort candidates in their ranking of an attribute. Interval measurement measures distance between attributes. Lastly ratio measurements is the highest standard of measurement and provides information about the attribute, the intervals and the absolute meaning of the value (Polit & Beck, 2017).
For my quantitative research I would prefer to apply the highest form of measurement, the ratio. Even if this means a more complex collection of data, ratios provide the best and more precise results. Additionally, once we have the results at the highest level, we can always simplify them to a lower scale if the need so arises (Polit & Beck, 2017).
If for example my research is about the variation in the costs of a mammography. I would like to know the exact out of pocket amount for the procedure for each participant. If later I find that grouping prices will simplify the results without completely distorting them I can apply an interval measurement that still keeps a good representation of the sample.
Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2017). Nursing Research. Alphen aan de Rijn, Netherlands: Wolters Kluwer.