Categorizing Continuous Data

Researchers sometimes wish to report or analyze a continuous variable by recoding a range of values into a few categories, such as taking all the scores from a test and categorizing them as high or low. This can be a valuable way to improve the interpretation of data but is often not recommended for statistical analysis, where the most precise measurements enable the most robust statistical tests to be deployed. This entry first discusses continuous and categorical variables and then provides an example to illustrate the use of transformed categorical variables.

Continuous Variables

Quantitative research uses numbers to represent the values of a variable, for instance age. For example, age is a variable because it can vary from one participant to the next within a sample. Many ...

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