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Just want to make sure that I understand the meaning of an outlier.

Question: Can you have an outlier of categorical data?

I think that to have an outlier you must first have some sort of measurement. My reason is that any data point > 3*IQR (Interquartile range) is used to identifiy an outliner.

However, there is no measurement with categorical data, as I understand.

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I don't know what the standard treatment of this problem is, however I have a remark about the question. In order for the concept outlier to have any meaning you need to be able to define a distance between the values, that in this case may not be trivial i.e. is an apple closer to an orange or a pear?

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That is what I was thinking, but just wanted to make sure that I understood it correctly and wasn't missing something. –  yiyi Oct 23 '12 at 9:00
    
Genetically and morphologically, an apple is closer to a pear than either is to an orange. –  Henry Oct 23 '12 at 9:57
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