Post on 12/02/2016 by Sealia Thévenau

You Want Cross-tabs? Then remember to use the right types of questions

A cross-tabulation is the result of crossing the responses obtained to two questions of a questionnaire. This is also called a contingency table.

This helps to identify populations according to a response to a question (e.g. men versus women ...) and be able to analyze these populations specifically to better understand the similarities or differences between their answers to a question.

For example, in a survey about fitness club attendance it can be useful to cross-tabulate using the respondent’s job description, age, their proximity to the club ...

Cross-tabulations can also be used to determine whether there is a correlation between two different questions. For example, whether satisfaction is correlated to the quality of equipment provided by the fitness club?

It is also possible to make multiple-level cross-tabulations.

Here is an example of a triple cross-tab:

I used a sample questionnaire and its results to build the following examples.

In this first example I crossed the following slider question, “I like shopping in big malls”, with three multiple choice questions: “What is your gender?”, “Please choose your favorite from these two colors:”, and “Which of these drinks do you prefer?”.  

Setting up the cross-tab:

The resulting table:

 

Here is an example of a cross-tabulation between two slider questions (also possible with the scale question type):

In this example I crossed the question "I love shopping in big malls center" with "I love going on holiday by the sea."

Setting up the cross-tab:

One of the possible graphical representations of the cross-tab results:  

Apparently, there is no relevant correlation between loving shopping and loving holidays by the sea. ;)

 

If you intend to include cross-tabulations in your analysis it is necessary to think about this when designing your questionnaire.

Don’t forget that cross-tabulations are only possible using the following question types: Multiple choice, Slider, and Scale. 

 

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