In statistics, Goodman and Kruskal's gamma is a measure of rank correlation, i.e., the similarity of the orderings of the data when ranked by each of the quantities. It measures the strength of association of the cross tabulated data when both variables are measured at the ordinal level. It makes no adjustment for either table size or ties. Values range from -1 (100% negative association, or perfect inversion) to +1 (100% positive association, or perfect agreement). A value of zero indicates the absence of association.
The estimate of gamma, G, depends on two quantities:
where "ties" are dropped. That is cases where either of the two variables in the pair are equal. Then
This statistic can be regarded as the maximum likelihood estimator for the theoretical quantity , where
and where Ps and Pd are the probabilities that a randomly selected pair of observations will place in the same or opposite order respectively, when ranked by both variables.
Critical values for the gamma statistic are sometimes found by using an approximation, whereby a transformed value, t of the statistic is referred to Student t distribution, where
and where n is the number of observations (not the number of pairs):
A special case of Goodman and Kruskal's gamma is Yule's Q, which is specific to 2x2 matrices. Consider the following contingency table of events, where each value is a count of an event's frequency:
Yule's Q is given by:
Although computed in the same fashion as Goodman and Kruskal's gamma, it has a slightly broader interpretation because the distinction between nominal and ordinal scales becomes a matter of arbitrary labeling for dichotomous distinctions. Thus, whether Q is positive or negative depends merely on which pairings the analyst considers to be concordant, but is otherwise symmetric.
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