Content analysis is a research method for studying documents and communication artifacts, which might be texts of various formats, pictures, audio or video. Social scientists use content analysis to examine patterns in communication in a replicable and systematic manner.
Practices and philosophies of content analysis vary between academic disciplines. They all involve systematic reading or observation of texts or artifacts which are assigned labels sometimes called codes to indicate the presence of interesting, meaningful pieces of content. Computers are increasingly used in content analysis to automate the labeling or coding of documents.
Simple computational techniques can provide descriptive data such as word frequencies and document lengths. Machine learning classifiers can greatly increase the number of texts that can be labeled, but the scientific utility of doing so is a matter of debate. Content analysis is best understood as a broad family of techniques. Effective researchers choose techniques that best help them answer their substantive questions. That said, according to Klaus Krippendorff , six questions must be addressed in every content analysis: The simplest and most objective form of content analysis considers unambiguous characteristics of the text such as word frequencies , the page area taken by a newspaper column, or the duration of a radio or television program.
Analysis of simple word frequencies is limited because the meaning of a word depends on surrounding text. Keyword In Context routines address this by placing words in their textual context. This helps resolve ambiguities such as those introduced by synonyms and homonyms. A further step in analysis is the distinction between dictionary-based quantitative approaches and qualitative approaches.
Dictionary-based approaches set up a list of categories derived from the frequency list of words and control the distribution of words and their respective categories over the texts. While methods in quantitative content analysis in this way transform observations of found categories into quantitative statistical data, the qualitative content analysis focuses more on the intentionality and its implications.
There are strong parallels between qualitative content analysis and thematic analysis. More generally, content analysis is research using the categorization and classification of speech, written text, interviews, images, or other forms of communication.
In its beginnings, using the first newspapers at the end of the 19th century, analysis was done manually by measuring the number of lines and amount of space given a subject. With the rise of common computing facilities like PCs, computer-based methods of analysis are growing in popularity. Answers to open ended questions, newspaper articles, political party manifestoes, medical records or systematic observations in experiments can all be subject to systematic analysis of textual data.
By having contents of communication available in form of machine readable texts, the input is analyzed for frequencies and coded into categories for building up inferences. Different people should code the same text in the same way". Reliability of human coding is often measured using a statistical measure of inter-coder reliability or "the amount of agreement or correspondence among two or more coders".
Over the years, content analysis has been applied to a variety of scopes. Hermeneutics and philology have long used content analysis to interpret sacred and profane texts and, in many cases, to attribute texts' authorship and authenticity. In recent times, particularly with the advent of mass communication , content analysis has known an increasing use to deeply analyze and understand media content and media logic.
The political scientist Harold Lasswell formulated the core questions of content analysis in its early-mid 20th-century mainstream version: Quantitative content analysis has enjoyed a renewed popularity in recent years thanks to technological advances and fruitful application in of mass communication and personal communication research. Content analysis of textual big data produced by new media , particularly social media and mobile devices has become popular.
These approaches take a simplified view of language that ignores the complexity of semiosis, the process by which meaning is formed out of language. Quantitative content analysts have been criticized for limiting the scope of content analysis to simple counting, and for applying the measurement methodologies of the natural sciences without reflecting critically on their appropriateness to social science.
Recently, Arash Heydarian Pashakhanlou has argued for a combination of quantitative, qualitative, manual and computer-assisted in a single study to offset the weaknesses of a partial content analysis and enhance the reliability and validity of a research project.
These methods , described in the methodology, define the means or modes of data collection or, sometimes, how a specific result is to be calculated. When proper to a study of methodology, such processes constitute a constructive generic framework , and may therefore be broken down into sub-processes, combined, or their sequence changed.
A paradigm is similar to a methodology in that it is also a constructive framework. In theoretical work, the development of paradigms satisfies most or all of the criteria for methodology. Any description of a means of calculation of a specific result is always a description of a method and never a description of a methodology. It is thus important to avoid using methodology as a synonym for method or body of methods. Doing this shifts it away from its true epistemological meaning and reduces it to being the procedure itself, or the set of tools, or the instruments that should have been its outcome.
A methodology is the design process for carrying out research or the development of a procedure and is not in itself an instrument, or method, or procedure for doing things. Methodology and method are not interchangeable. In recent years, however, there has been a tendency to use methodology as a "pretentious substitute for the word method ".
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about research methods. For software engineering frameworks, see Software development methodology. Computer and Information Security Handbook.
Frankfurter, Theory and Reality in Financial Economics: Essays Toward a New Political Finance.
A Content Analysis of the Content Analysis Literature in Organization Studies: Research Themes, Data Sources, and Methodological Refinements. Organization Research Methods, 5–
The methods section describes actions to be taken to investigate a research problem and the rationale for the application of specific procedures or techniques used to identify, select, process, and analyze information applied to understanding the problem, thereby, allowing the reader to critically evaluate a study’s overall validity and reliability.
There are several important aspects to research methodology. This is a summary of the key concepts in scientific research and an attempt to erase some common misconceptions in science. This article is a part of the guide. Qualitative content analysis is one of numerous research methods used to ana- resrebal.tkethodsincludeethnography,groundedtheory,phenomenol- ogy, and historical research.
Video: Research Methodology: Approaches & Techniques A research method is a systematic plan for doing research. In this lesson, we'll look at the definition for a research method and examine the. PDF | As it is indicated in the title, this chapter includes the research methodology of the dissertation. In more details, in this part the author outlines the research strategy, the research.