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Identifying variables as quantitative or categorical

  1. Jan 20, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Here is a small part of an EESEE data set, "Nutrition and Breakfast Cereals," that describes the nutritional content per serving of 77 brands of breakfast cereals:


    What are the individuals in this data set?
    For each individual, what variables are given? Which of these variables are categorical and which are quantitative?

    Match your answers below.
    1. Individual
    2. Categorical variable
    3. Quantitative variable
    4. Specific variable value
    5. None of the above

    A. Sugars
    B. Almond Delight
    C. Manufacturer
    D. Calories
    E. Cold
    F. Apple Jacks
    G. Fibers
    H. K
    I. Brand name
    J. All Bran

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution

    The individuals in the dataset are the cereals. I'm trying to classify the variables but I keep getting 9/10 right. I have 1 try left and I really want to get this concept correctly understood.

    A. Sugars - Quantitative
    B. Almond Delight - Individual
    C. Manufacturer - Categorical
    D. Calories - Quantitative
    E. Cold - Specific variable value
    F. Apple Jacks - Individual
    G. Fibers - Quantitative
    H. K - Specific variable value
    I. Brand name - I tried None of the Above, Individual, and Categorical... still ending up with 9/10
    J. All Bran - Individual
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2015 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    For Brand Name, my best guess is None of the Above. I wouldn't think that Brand Name was a category variable. I'm guessing that this is a computer-scored assignment. Is there someone who is knowledgeable about this software that you can ask?
  4. Jan 20, 2015 #3
    I sent an email to my professor. I thought it was None of the Above, too.
  5. Jan 21, 2015 #4
    Turns out it is None of the Above... I've got a different letter wrong and can't figure out what. Any ideas?
  6. Jan 21, 2015 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    Maybe this one:
    E. Cold - Specific variable value

    Cold/hot is a category, with variable values of C and H.
  7. Jan 22, 2015 #6


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Perhaps this post should go on a thread in a different section - the lounge or somewhere but - Is it just me or does anyone think the same?

    If you got 10/10 on that test you should worry something is wrong with you. Waste no more time on that exercise!

    What a way to start a course on anything, even statistics! Are you able to switch to a course on something substantial? Because as a general rule courses that start like this are like films whose first 15 min. are bad, they don't get better later. Or at least move ahead, read the book independently of and before the lessons and if you ever find you are stuck in a statistical analysis through not knowing whether manufacturers are categorical variables then look back to this lesson and I'm sure it will be more significant, memorable or more whatever it needs to be more.

    Am I the only one with this reaction? Is statistics particularly afflicted by boring didactics or is it intrinsically boring so that it would be dishonest not to make these efforts to make sure it seems so?
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
  8. Jan 22, 2015 #7


    Staff: Mentor

    This is the appropriate section for this problem, not the lounge.
    The OP probably wants to make sure that he/she understands the material. I grant you that this question is overly pedantic in its concern about definitions that have very little to do with the meat of statistics.
  9. Jan 25, 2015 #8
    You were right, it was a software bug. Ridiculous that they don't support something as important as Google Chrome (which has around 42.5% market share).
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