online QDA logo - Home Page

NEW

REQUALLO


WWW http://onlineqda.hud.ac.uk
Bookmark and Share

MAXqda logo Variables in MAXqda

Authors of this page: Graham R. Gibbs and Celia Taylor

Affiliation: University of Huddersfield

Date written: 30th June 2005

 

 

 

Attributes and variables

Attributes or variables can be applied in a MAXqda project using coding. Just code all the text for a respondent, setting or event to a code for its value. All the values of the variable can be kept in a hierarchy as siblings and children of a node with the name of the variable. Thus whole interviews could be coded with the codes 'male' or 'female' and these codes could be children of the code 'gender'. However, this approach gets messy because of the number of codes required and it is difficult to deal with things like ages, dates etc. Therefore MAXqda allows you to create variables in the project. Such variables can be applied to documents, cases and codes in such projects. See Table 1 for some examples.

Table 1. Examples of possible attributes

Attribute

Applicable to

Example values

Value Type

Age of person

Document, case

21, 37, 54

Integer

Date of interview

Document, case

04/12/5, 04/9/26

Date/time

Gender

Document, memo, code, case

Male, Female

String

Writer

Document, memo

Trevor, Mahmood, Alison

String

Date of writing

Document, memo, code

2000/4/21, 1999/8/3

Date/time

Interviewer name

Document, case

Robert, Sally, Shahida

String

Place of interview

Document

Home, University

String

Town of interview

Document

Leeds, London, York

String

Name of transcriber

Document, memo

Susan, Gill, Brit

String

Type of document

Document, memo

Interview, Committee minutes, Observation, Field notes

String

Creator of code

Code

Trevor, Wilton, Betty

String

Date of event

Code

2002/4, 1999/8

Date/time

Status of code

Code

Hunch, Defined, Agreed, Validated

String

To set up variables in a project

  1. click the Variables button (MAXqda Variables button). The Table of Variables opens. See Figure 1.
  2. right click any of the column titles (e.g. Textgroup), click Insert New Variable.
  3. In the dialog, give the variable a name and choose an appropriate type for it. (If the values will be just text, then choose String.)
  4. click OK. A new column appears, headed with your variable name.
  5. click a cell in this column to type in a value for this document.
  6. After you have entered a few values you can use the pull-down menu to select a pre-entered value.
  7. click a cell then click the triangle at the right hand end to get a pull-down menu.
  8. click the value you want. See Figure 1.

 

MAXqda Table of Variables

Figure 1 MAXqda Table of Variables.

What to use variables for

Most commonly variables are used to control retrievals and searches using codes so that you can make comparisons. They can be a way of dividing coded passages by gender or age, for instance, to look for patterns affected by such variables. For instance, in a study of carers of people with dementia you may wish to compare the views about support from voluntary organisations held by men with those held by women.