Kendall’s Tau

Kendall’s tau (τ) represents a means of providing a correlation for rank order level data, which can be important when analyzing data in a quantitative communication research study. Rank order data represents a measurement in which the evaluation of some stimuli is provided in terms of a relative ordering among the elements (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.). The measurement consideration is that the distance between the various evaluations may not be the same. The Kendall’s tau rank order coefficient compares the relationship of rank ordering between two different approaches to measuring the variables. Essentially, a variable becomes rank ordered using two different systems. Take, for example, a ranking of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football teams by a computer system and a ranking by sportswriters. ...

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