Observations are always ordinal; measurements, however, must be interval

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1989 Nov;70(12):857-60.


Quantitative observations are based on counting observed events or levels of performance. Meaningful measurement is based on the arithmetical properties of interval scales. The Rasch measurement model provides the necessary and sufficient means to transform ordinal counts into linear measures. Imperfect unidimensionality and other threats to linear measurement can be assessed by means of fit statistics. The Rasch model is being successfully applied to rating scales.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Reference Standards
  • Statistics as Topic / methods*