2.5 Levels of Data
A question defines a variable, while an answer to a question defines a value.
Researchers quantify answers to closed-ended questions by assigning a code number to each response (i.e., value). Metric responses can be summarized in many ways, but nonmetric responses can only be summarized by frequency counts and percentages. A question elicits nonmetric values when respondents select a quality from mutually exclusive response options: