General Information about Mixed Methods in MAXQDA

MAXQDA is one of the pioneers of method integration. Functionality for working with both qualitative and quantitative data was already available in the very first version of the software, which came out in the late 1980s. The option to view a matrix of quantitative data parallel to the texts has been a keystone of these mixed methods. In the previous version, MAXQDA 10, the option to create code variables was added, which makes it possible to assign variable values to different sections of a single document. Since version 12.2, the “Stats” module has provided a fully integrated statistical function for the implementation of descriptive and inferential statistical calculations, the results of which can be used for integrative analyses of your qualitative data.

Functions that link documents and variables, for example themes from qualitative interview material with the variables from standardized interviews, are available in the Mixed Methods tab:

  • Activate by document variables – lets you activate documents to be included in the Coding Query based on document variable values. You could, for example, use this function to identify what men between the ages of 40 and 50 said about migration issues.
  • Interactive Quote Matrix – creates a Word file showing what different groups said about a theme based on certain variable values that you specify. Each group’s coded segments for the specified codes are in a different column. You could, for example, choose to see how those with various levels of education differ on their approach to combating homelessness.
  • Crosstabs – works parallel to the Code Matrix Browser, except that this function doesn’t work on the document level. Instead, you can create groups based on your variable values and compare how often each of these groups talks about each theme. You could, for example, compare how often men talk about relationships in your life satisfaction interviews in comparison to women.
  • Quantitizing – This is the transformation of qualitative coding information into quantitative variables. Quantitizing allows you to store the code frequencies as document variables, such that for each document you have information about how often a code appears in that document. This information can then be analyzed statistically or used for the selection of cases.
  • Typology Table – shows an overview of variable values for qualitative typologies that you have created (e.g. for people with various views on combating their own homelessness). You could see, for example, what the mean age, gender breakdown, and average time already homeless is for the “apathetic pessimists” in comparison to the “proactive optimists.”
  • Similarity analysis for documents – selected documents are analyzed on the basis of existing coded segments and document variables for their similarity, and the results are presented in a similarity or distance matrix.
  • Joint Displays – MAXQDA offers a variety of displays that integrate qualitative and quantitative data and that are related to often used mixed methods designs. “Side-by-side displays” array qualitative and quantitative results, “Qualitative themes for quantitative groups” display coded segments or summaries in a table for groups that have been defined by document variable values, and the display “Statistics for qualitative groups” divides documents into groups by the documentts’ variable values and compares mean, standard deviation and relative frequencies for selected variables.

In the “Code System” window there are functions available, that allow you to use the code frequencies for each document as document variables:

  • Transform code into document variable or categorical document variable – Codes can be added as document variables that specify how often the code occurs in the document (“Quantitizing” as described above) or which subcode occurs most frequently in a document. The latter is particularly useful for evaluative qualitative content analyses.