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6. Content Analysis
About this Lecture
In this lecture, we think about content analysis, focusing in particular on: (i) defining it as a qualitative method of analysing data, specifically to transform it into quantitative data; (ii) the example of Dr Mehl’s study used to demonstrate how coding data is a method of performing content analysis; (iii) the first step in content analysis as deciding on the data you wish to analyse and collecting that data; (iv) the second step as how you will code/categorise your data, something that should be done prior to looking at the data and should only be based on prior knowledge/expectations; (v) the third step as running the analyses and the fourth as reporting the data; (vi) some strengths and weaknesses of content analysis, the former including its reliability, objectivity and straightforward process, and the latter including the fact that its descriptive nature limits the ability of its results to make conclusions on causation.
In this course, Dr Peter Allen (University of Bristol) explores the experimental structure and methodology that underlies much of the research that informs our psychological theories. In the first lecture, we introduce the gold standard of psychological research: the true experiment. In the second lecture, we break down the term ‘experiment’ by highlighting the definitions of quasi and natural experiments. In the third lecture, we think about the commonly practiced experiment alternative, the observational study – a key aspect of a natural experiment. Next, we build on module three by focusing on the self-report methods which are often used in observational studies. In the fifth lecture, we move to the post-procedure aspect of experimentation by approaching correlations and what they mean in the analysis of results. In the sixth lecture, we bring to light content analysis, a lesser studied qualitative method of categorising and analysing experimental results. In the seventh and final lecture, we think about case studies, the divisive method of study which is in equal part invaluable and useless!
Dr Peter Allen is a senior lecturer in the School of Psychological Science at the University of Bristol. Dr Allen’s research interests are in evidence-based learning and teaching in higher education, with a focus on statistical literacy; specifically on understanding the barriers that psychology students can face when learning research methods and statistics. A goal of this research is to derive strategies that can help students become better researchers and scientific thinkers. Some of Dr Allen’s recent publications include 'Training Structural Awareness with StatHand' (2022) and 'Research Performance of Academic Psychologists in the United Kingdom' (2022).
Cite this Lecture
Allen, P. (2022, January 07). Research Methods – Experimental Methodology - Content Analysis [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/experimental-methodology/content-analysis
Allen, P. "Research Methods – Experimental Methodology – Content Analysis." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 07 Jan 2022, https://massolit.io/courses/experimental-methodology/content-analysis