Definition: The Rank Order Scaling is a yet another comparative scaling technique wherein the respondents are presented with numerous objects simultaneously and are required to order or rank these according to some specified criterion.
The Rank order scaling is often used to measure the preference for the brand and attributes. The ranking data is typically obtained from respondents in the conjoint analysis (a statistical technique used to determine how the brand and the combination of its attributes such as features, functions, and benefits, influences the decision making of a person), as it forces the respondents to discriminate among the stimulus objects. The Rank order scaling results in the ordinal data.
With respect to the paired comparison scaling, the Rank order scaling resembles more closely to the shopping environment, and also it takes less time and eliminates all the intransitive responses (not object-directed). Such as, if there are ‘n’ stimulus objects, then only ‘n-1’ scaling decisions are to be made in case of Rank order scaling, while in the case of paired comparison scaling ‘[n (n-1) /2]’ scaling decisions are required. Moreover, the rank order scaling is an easy method to understand. But, however, the major limitation of this process is that it results only in ordinal data.
Note: Under the assumption of Transitivity (implies that if brand X is preferred to brand Y, and brand Y, is preferred to brand Z, then brand X is preferred to brand Z), the rank order data can be converted to equivalent paired comparison data and vice-versa.