Variables can be classified as qualitative or
quantitative. Qualitative variables are
variables that can be placed into distinct categories, according to some
characteristic or attribute. For example, if subjects are classified according
to gender (male or female), then the variable gender is qualitative. Other examples of qualitative variables are
religious preference and geographic locations.
variables are numerical and can be ordered or ranked.
For example, the variable age is
numerical, and people can be ranked in order according to the value of their
ages. Other examples of quantitative variables are heights, weights, and body
Quantitative variables can be further
classified into two groups: discrete and continuous. Discrete variables can be assigned values such as 0, 1, 2, 3 and
are said to be countable. Examples of discrete variables are the number of
children in a family, the number of students in a classroom, and the number of
calls received by a switchboard operator each day for a month.
variables, by comparison, can assume an infinite number
of values in an interval between any two specific values. Temperature, for
example, is a continuous variable, since the variable can assume an infinite
number of values between any two given temperatures.
The classification of variables can be summarized as follows:
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