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  • A Brief History of Content Analysis
    Steps for Conducting Conceptual Analysis Relational Analysis Theoretical Influences on Relational Analysis Relational Analysis Overview of Methods Commentary Issues of Reliability Validity Advantages of Content Analysis Disadvantages of Content Analysis Examples Annotated Bibliography Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Content Analysis A Brief History of Content Analysis Historically content analysis was a time consuming process Analysis was done manually or slow mainframe computers were used to analyze punch cards containing data punched in by human coders Single studies could employ thousands of these cards Human error and time constraints made this method impractical for large texts However despite its impracticality content analysis was already an often utilized research method by the 1940 s Although initially limited to studies that examined texts for the frequency of the occurrence of identified terms word counts by the mid 1950 s researchers were already starting to consider the need for more sophisticated methods of analysis focusing on concepts rather than simply words and on semantic relationships rather than just presence de Sola Pool 1959 While both traditions still continue today content analysis now is also utilized to explore mental models and their linguistic affective cognitive social cultural and historical significance Previous

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  • Uses of Content Analysis
    Analysis Conceptual Analysis Steps for Conducting Conceptual Analysis Relational Analysis Theoretical Influences on Relational Analysis Relational Analysis Overview of Methods Commentary Issues of Reliability Validity Advantages of Content Analysis Disadvantages of Content Analysis Examples Annotated Bibliography Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Content Analysis Uses of Content Analysis Perhaps due to the fact that it can be applied to examine any piece of writing or occurrence of recorded communication content analysis is currently used in a dizzying array of fields ranging from marketing and media studies to literature and rhetoric ethnography and cultural studies gender and age issues sociology and political science psychology and cognitive science and many other fields of inquiry Additionally content analysis reflects a close relationship with socio and psycholinguistics and is playing an integral role in the development of artificial intelligence The following list adapted from Berelson 1952 offers more possibilities for the uses of content analysis Reveal international differences in communication content Detect the existence of propaganda Identify the intentions focus or communication trends of an individual group or institution Describe attitudinal and behavioral responses to communications Determine psychological or emotional state of persons or groups Previous Continue Introduction Tweet HELP SITE

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  • Types of Content Analysis
    Uses of Content Analysis Types of Content Analysis Conceptual Analysis Steps for Conducting Conceptual Analysis Relational Analysis Theoretical Influences on Relational Analysis Relational Analysis Overview of Methods Commentary Issues of Reliability Validity Advantages of Content Analysis Disadvantages of Content Analysis Examples Annotated Bibliography Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Content Analysis Types of Content Analysis In this guide we discuss two general categories of content analysis conceptual analysis and relational analysis Conceptual analysis can be thought of as establishing the existence and frequency of concepts most often represented by words of phrases in a text For instance say you have a hunch that your favorite poet often writes about hunger With conceptual analysis you can determine how many times words such as hunger hungry famished or starving appear in a volume of poems In contrast relational analysis goes one step further by examining the relationships among concepts in a text Returning to the hunger example with relational analysis you could identify what other words or phrases hunger or famished appear next to and then determine what different meanings emerge as a result of these groupings Previous Continue Introduction Tweet HELP SITE INDEX ABOUT THIS SITE CONTACT Writing

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  • Conceptual Analysis
    presence Also known as thematic analysis although this term is somewhat problematic given its varied definitions in current literature see Palmquist Carley Dale 1997 vis a vis Smith 1992 the focus here is on looking at the occurrence of selected terms within a text or texts although the terms may be implicit as well as explicit While explicit terms obviously are easy to identify coding for implicit terms and deciding their level of implication is complicated by the need to base judgments on a somewhat subjective system To attempt to limit the subjectivity then as well as to limit problems of reliability and validity coding such implicit terms usually involves the use of either a specialized dictionary or contextual translation rules And sometimes both tools are used a trend reflected in recent versions of the Harvard and Lasswell dictionaries Methods of Conceptual Analysis Conceptual analysis begins with identifying research questions and choosing a sample or samples Once chosen the text must be coded into manageable content categories The process of coding is basically one of selective reduction By reducing the text to categories consisting of a word set of words or phrases the researcher can focus on and code for specific words or patterns that are indicative of the research question An example of a conceptual analysis would be to examine several Clinton speeches on health care made during the 1992 presidential campaign and code them for the existence of certain words In looking at these speeches the research question might involve examining the number of positive words used to describe Clinton s proposed plan and the number of negative words used to describe the current status of health care in America The researcher would be interested only in quantifying these words not in examining how they are related which

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  • Steps for Conducting Conceptual Analysis
    very basic coding process and would give the researcher a very limited perspective of the text However the number of times inexpensive appears in a text might be more indicative of importance Knowing that inexpensive appeared 50 times for example compared to 15 appearances of coverage for everyone might lead a researcher to interpret that Clinton is trying to sell his health care plan based more on economic benefits not comprehensive coverage Knowing that inexpensive appeared but not that it appeared 50 times would not allow the researcher to make this interpretation regardless of whether it is valid or not Decide on how you will distinguish among concepts The researcher must next decide on the level of generalization i e whether concepts are to be coded exactly as they appear or if they can be recorded as the same even when they appear in different forms For example expensive might also appear as expensiveness The research needs to determine if the two words mean radically different things to him her or if they are similar enough that they can be coded as being the same thing i e expensive words In line with this is the need to determine the level of implication one is going to allow This entails more than subtle differences in tense or spelling as with expensive and expensiveness Determining the level of implication would allow the researcher to code not only for the word expensive but also for words that imply expensive This could perhaps include technical words jargon or political euphemism such as economically challenging that the researcher decides does not merit a separate category but is better represented under the category expensive due to its implicit meaning of expensive Develop rules for coding your texts After taking the generalization of concepts into consideration a researcher will want to create translation rules that will allow him her to streamline and organize the coding process so that he she is coding for exactly what he she wants to code for Developing a set of rules helps the researcher insure that he she is coding things consistently throughout the text in the same way every time If a researcher coded economically challenging as a separate category from expensive in one paragraph then coded it under the umbrella of expensive when it occurred in the next paragraph his her data would be invalid The interpretations drawn from that data will subsequently be invalid as well Translation rules protect against this and give the coding process a crucial level of consistency and coherence Decide what to do with irrelevant information The next choice a researcher must make involves irrelevant information The researcher must decide whether irrelevant information should be ignored as Weber 1990 suggests or used to reexamine and or alter the coding scheme In the case of this example words like and and the as they appear by themselves would be ignored They add nothing to the quantification of words like inexpensive and expensive and can be

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  • Relational Analysis
    like conceptual analysis begins with the act of identifying concepts present in a given text or set of texts However relational analysis seeks to go beyond presence by exploring the relationships between the concepts identified Relational analysis has also been termed semantic analysis Palmquist Carley Dale 1997 In other words the focus of relational analysis is to look for semantic or meaningful relationships Individual concepts in and of themselves are

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  • Theoretical Influences on Relational Analysis
    that inform content analysis include linguistics and cognitive science Linguistic approaches to content analysis focus analysis of texts on the level of a linguistic unit typically single clause units One example of this type of research is Gottschalk 1975 who developed an automated procedure which analyzes each clause in a text and assigns it a numerical score based on several emotional psychological scales Another technique is to code a text grammatically into clauses and parts of speech to establish a matrix representation Carley 1990 Approaches that derive from cognitive science include the creation of decision maps and mental models Decision maps attempt to represent the relationship s between ideas beliefs attitudes and information available to an author when making a decision within a text These relationships can be represented as logical inferential causal sequential and mathematical relationships Typically two of these links are compared in a single study and are analyzed as networks For example Heise 1987 used logical and sequential links to examine symbolic interaction This methodology is thought of as a more generalized cognitive mapping technique rather than the more specific mental models approach Mental models are groups or networks of interrelated concepts that are thought to reflect conscious or subconscious perceptions of reality According to cognitive scientists internal mental structures are created as people draw inferences and gather information about the world Mental models are a more specific approach to mapping because beyond extraction and comparison because they can be numerically and graphically analyzed Such models rely heavily on the use of computers to help analyze and construct mapping representations Typically studies based on this approach follow five general steps Identifing concepts Defining relationship types Coding the text on the basis of 1 and 2 Coding the statements Graphically displaying and numerically analyzing the resulting maps To

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  • Relational Analysis: Overview of Methods
    Contributors Citation Content Analysis Relational Analysis Overview of Methods As with other sorts of inquiry initial choices with regard to what is being studied and or coded for often determine the possibilities of that particular study For relational analysis it is important to first decide which concept type s will be explored in the analysis Studies have been conducted with as few as one and as many as 500 concept categories Obviously too many categories may obscure your results and too few can lead to unreliable and potentially invalid conclusions Therefore it is important to allow the context and necessities of your research to guide your coding procedures The steps to relational analysis that we consider in this guide suggest some of the possible avenues available to a researcher doing content analysis We provide an example to make the process easier to grasp However the choices made within the context of the example are but only a few of many possibilities The diversity of techniques available suggests that there is quite a bit of enthusiasm for this mode of research Once a procedure is rigorously tested it can be applied and compared across populations over time The process of relational

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=1313&guideid=61 (2015-10-15)
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