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Entropy 2010, 12(2), 161-163; doi:10.3390/e12020161
Letter

Quantifying Information Content in Survey Data by Entropy

1,*  and 2
1 Helse Sør-Øst Health Services Research Centre, Akershus University Hospital, Mail drawer 95, NO-1474 Lørenskog, Norway 2 The National Resource Centre in Rheumatology, Diakonhjemmet hospital, P.O. Box 23 Vinderen, NO-0319 Oslo, Norway
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 November 2009 / Revised: 6 January 2010 / Accepted: 26 January 2010 / Published: 28 January 2010
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Abstract

We apply Shannon entropy as a measure of information content in survey data, and define information efficiency as the empirical entropy divided by the maximum attainable entropy. In a case study of the Norwegian Function Assessment Scale, entropy calculations show that the 5-point response version has higher information efficiency than the 4-point version.
Keywords: entropy; information; survey; data; questionnaire entropy; information; survey; data; questionnaire
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Dahl, F.A.; Østerås, N. Quantifying Information Content in Survey Data by Entropy. Entropy 2010, 12, 161-163.

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