Quasi-Statistical: Definition

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“Quasi-Statistical” is a somewhat loose term that could refer to:

  1. Quasi-experiments
  2. Becker’s Quasi-statistics

1. Quasi-Experimental Design

A quasi-experimental design is missing one or more key components of a solid experimental design, which are:

  • Pre-post test design.
  • Treatment and control groups.
  • Random assignment of subjects to groups.

For more information on this type of quasi-statistical analysis, see: Quasi-Experimental Design.

2. Becker’s Quasi-Statistics

Becker’s quasi-statistics are a way to make non-precise counts (like “some,” “usually,” or “most”) more precise. The counts are obtained from qualitative research, and can be thought of as a type of numerical data within a qualitative framework. It is used as a strategy for assessing internal generalization; Internal generalizability is extending results to participants or other experimental components within the setting/case/institution that weren’t directly observed (Maxwell & Chmiel, 2014).

Becker states that “One of the greatest faults in most observational case studies has been their failure to make explicit the quasi-statistical basis of their conclusions” (1970: 81–2). However, it should be noted that the term “quasi-statistics” can be misleading; quantifying vague terms like “usually” or “most” doesn’t turn a qualitative analysis into a quantitative one. “Using numbers in this way is not “statistical,” and does not make a study “quantitative” in the usual meaning of this term (Maxwell, 2010); it simply makes it explicit, and more precise (Maxwell & Chmiel, 2014, p. 10).” Although it’s possible to run hypothesis tests with quasi-statistical data obtained in this way, care should be taken when reading results because technically, they aren’t “statistical” in the usual sense of the term.


Maxwell, J. (2010). Using Numbers in Qualitative Research. Retrieved April 5, 2019 from: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1077800410364740
Maxwell, J. & Chmiel, M. (2014). Generalization in and from Qualitative Analysis.Pp. 540-553 in The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Data Analysis (Uwe Flick, Ed.), London. Retrieved April 5, 2019 from: https://www.researchgate.net/file.PostFileLoader.html?id=530f4e23d685cc17338b4616&assetKey=AS%3A272443174785024%401441966922411
aber, K. S. (2013). Classroom-based Research and Evidence-based Practice: An introduction (2nd ed.). London: Sage

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