Fusion classifiers with diverse components (classifiers or data sets) outperform those with less diverse components. Determining component diversity, therefore, is of the utmost importance in the design of fusion classifiers which are often employed in clinical diagnostic and numerous other pattern recognition problems. In this paper, a new pairwise diversity-based ranking strategy is introduced to select a subset of ensemble components, which when combined, will be more diverse than any other component subset of the same size. The strategy is unified in the sense that the components can be either polychotomous classifiers or polychotomous data sets. Classifier fusion and data fusion systems are formulated based on the diversity selection strategy and the application of the two fusion strategies are demonstrated through the classification of multi-channel event related potentials (ERPs). From the results it is concluded that data fusion outperforms classifier fusion. It is also shown that the diversity-based data fusion system outperforms the system using randomly selected data components. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that the combination of data components that yield the best performance, in a relative sense, can be determined through the diversity selection strategy.