Definition: A discrete variable can assume only a finite number of values, e.g., number of weeds, number of defective

Definition: A continuous variable can assume the infinitely many values corresponding to the points on a line interval, e.g., height, weight.

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See Example 1.2 for an example of qualitative versus quantitative variable.

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Also, see Figure 1.1 for a diagram of the types of data we have defined.

Example 1.2

Identify each of the following variables as qualitative or quantitative:

1. The most frequent use of your microwave oven (reheating, defrosting, warming, other)

2. The number of consumers who refuse to answer a telephone survey

3. The door chosen by a mouse in a maze experiment (A, B, or C)

©1998 Brooks/Cole Publishing/ITP