What are Classifications and Attributes?

Classifications are used to store information about your participants. This information may include demographic data (e.g. gender, age, educational level) or other variables- either numerical or non-numerical (e.g. anxiety level). Each variable will be created as an attribute. For example, one attribute might be 'Age' with the variables '20-35,' '35-50' and so on..

In NVivo, you need to first create Cases (called case nodes in Nvivo 10) in order to be able to classify your participants and assign them attributes. For example, if you wanted to classify Barbara as a female (Attribute: Gender, Value: Female) you will need to first create a Case (node) for Barbara. This case nodel will be linked to the Classification, and then you will be able to assign the appropriate value to Barbara.

You can either classify and assign attributes manually, or you can import an Excel file that contains these attributes and values and assign them automatically. In any case, you will need to first create Cases.

The document below includes more information about Classifications and Attributes and provides step by step instructions on how to create attributes and assign values manually. We recommend you to take a look at it even if you are going to import your attributes using an Excel file, as it will clarify the process.

Import and apply Classifications and Attributes

This video from QSR shows you how to import  a classification sheet into your NVivo project (i.e. an Excel file that contains the attributes and values for your participants). Note: the video uses the NVivo 10 interface, but the steps for NVivo 11 Pro are the same.

QSR also provides instructions for working with Classifications in NVivo 11 for Windows and Mac.

Creating case nodes

This video from QSR shows you how to create case nodes for your participants that you can then use to link them to Classifications and Attributes.

Note: in NVivo 11, case nodes are known as 'Cases' and a folder for these nodes has been included. The process to create them and assign them a classification remains the same. For more information about Cases in NVivo 11, QSR provides this tutorial.