[R] Turn Rank Ordering Into Numerical Scores By Transposing A Data Frame

David L Carlson dcarlson at tamu.edu
Fri Jul 25 22:58:10 CEST 2014

I think this gets what you want. But your data are not reproducible since they are randomly drawn without setting a seed and the two data sets have no relationship to one another.

> set.seed(42)
> mydf <- data.frame(t(replicate(100, sample(c("red", "blue",
+ "green", "yellow")))))
> colnames(mydf) <- c("rank1", "rank2", "rank3", "rank4")
> mydf2 <- data.frame(t(apply(mydf, 1, order)))
> colnames(mydf2) <- levels(mydf$rank1)
> head(mydf)
   rank1  rank2  rank3 rank4
1 yellow  green    red  blue
2  green   blue yellow   red
3  green yellow    red  blue
4 yellow    red  green  blue
5 yellow    red  green  blue
6 yellow    red   blue green
> head(mydf2)
  blue green red yellow
1    4     2   3      1
2    2     1   4      3
3    4     1   3      2
4    4     3   2      1
5    4     3   2      1
6    3     4   2      1

David L Carlson
Department of Anthropology
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77840-4352

-----Original Message-----
From: r-help-bounces at r-project.org [mailto:r-help-bounces at r-project.org] On Behalf Of Simon Kiss
Sent: Friday, July 25, 2014 2:34 PM
To: r-help at r-project.org
Subject: [R] Turn Rank Ordering Into Numerical Scores By Transposing A Data Frame

I have data that looks like mydf, below.  It is the results of a survey where participants were to put a number of statements (in this case colours) in their order of preference. In this case, the rank number is the variable, and the factor level for each respondent is which colour they assigned to that rank.  I would like to find a way to effectively transpose the data frame so that it looks like mydf2, also below, where the colours the participants were able to choose are the variables and the variable score is what that person ranked that variable. 

Ultimately what I would like to do is a factor analysis on these items, so I'd like to be able to see if people ranked red and yellow higher together but ranked green and blue together lower, that sort of thing.  
I have played around with different variations of t(), melt(), ifelse() and if() but can't find a solution. 
Thank you
#Reproducible code
mydf<-data.frame(rank1=sample(c('red', 'blue', 'green', 'yellow'), replace=TRUE, size=100), rank2=sample(c('red', 'blue', 'green', 'yellow'), replace=TRUE, size=100), rank3=sample(c('red', 'blue', 'green', 'yellow'), replace=TRUE, size=100), rank4=sample(c('red', 'blue', 'green', 'yellow'), replace=TRUE, size=100))

mydf2<-data.frame(red=sample(c(1,2,3,4), replace=TRUE,size=100),blue=sample(c(1,2,3,4), replace=TRUE,size=100),green=sample(c(1,2,3,4), replace=TRUE,size=100) ,yellow=sample(c(1,2,3,4), replace=TRUE,size=100))
Simon J. Kiss, PhD
Assistant Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University
73 George Street
Brantford, Ontario, Canada
N3T 2C9

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