Truncating doesn’t get the respect it deserves.
Like rounding, truncating gets rid of those pesky decimal places that imply a higher degree of accuracy than truly exists. When you’re talking about a ten point scale or 100 percent ranges, 56.85637328 is identical to 56.
Like rounding, truncating makes numbers that are nine places away from each other appear to be equal. 7.5 and 8.4 are 9 points apart but both get rounded to 8. Just as 8.0 and 8.9 are 9 places away from each other but both get truncated to 8.
The only time when rounding has a very slight advantage over truncating is when you’re using scales with a very small range. Where rounding retains the five points in a five point scale, truncating essentially reduces a five point scale to a four point scale. Now that isn’t inherently bad, but when you haven’t got a lot of variability in your results to begin with, every box counts. That is, afterall, why we love decimal places.
Personally, I prefer truncating over rounding. It’s a great sound numerical karate chop. And It just sounds cooler.
Written on the go