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1.2 Types of Variables

Definition: Qualitative variables measure a quality or characteristic on each experimental unit.

Examples: Eye color, state of residence, gender, degree objective (BS/BA, MA, MBA, Ph.D.)

Definition: Quantitative variables measure a numerical quantity or amount on each experimental unit.

Examples: Height, weight, systolic blood pressure, number of weeds/square meter in a wheat field, number of defective items  in a carton of 20

Qualitative variables produce data that can be categorized according to similarities or differences in kind; they are often called categorical data, e.g., eye color, state of residence.

©1998 Brooks/Cole Publishing/ITP

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