Crosstabulation (or crosstab) is a basic part of survey research in which researchers can get an indication of the frequency of two variables (e.g. gender or income, and frequency of school attendance) occurring at the same time.
To get this information, it is necessary to create a contingency table. A contingency table is a matrix that displays the categories (or sub-sets) of two variables (e.g. gender categories = male/female and school attendance = 1/2/3/4/5 times a week) with their frequency counts. It is important to be able to see both counts and percentages in the crosstab because each one on its own can be misleading.
Crosstabulation can provide even more information when disaggregating data into different categories. Researchers can then quickly identify where the most significant relationships between the two items selected are, and therefore where to dig deeper. This statistical technique provides an indication of whether an interdependent relationship exists between two sets of values, but does not identify a causal relationship between the values.
Frazier, L. (2012). How to do cross tabulations. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/how_5194388_do-cross-tabulations.html (archive link)
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