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Research Methods – Experimental Methodology

6. Content Analysis

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About this Lecture

Lecture

This sixth lecture introduces content analysis, a qualitative method of analysing data, specifically to transform it into quantitative data. The example of Dr Mehl’s study is used to demonstrate how coding data is a method of performing content analysis. The first step in content analysis is described as deciding on the data you wish to analyse and collecting that data. The second step is deciding on 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. The third step is running the analyses and the fourth is reporting that data. The last part of this lecture outlines some strengths and weaknesses of content analysis. The former includes its reliability, objectivity and straightforward process, while the latter includes the fact that its descriptive nature limits the ability of its results to make conclusions on causation.

Course

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. The first lecture introduces the gold standard in psychological research: the true experiment. The second lecture breaks down the term ‘experiment’ by highlighting the definitions of quasi and natural experiments. The third lecture brings to light the commonly practiced alternative to the experiment, in the form of observational studies – a key aspect of a natural experiment. The fourth lecture builds on lecture three by focusing on the self-report methods which are often used in observational studies. The fifth lecture moves to the post-procedure aspect of experimentation by approaching correlations and what they mean in the analysis of results. The sixth lecture brings to light content analysis, a lesser studied qualitative method of categorising and analysing experimental results. The seventh and final lecture on this course addresses case studies, the divisive method of study which is equal parts invaluable and useless!

Lecturer

Dr Peter Allen is a senior lecturer in the School of Psychological Science at the University of Bristol. In recent years, Dr Allen’s research has centred around evidence-based learning and teaching in higher education. A key focus has been 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.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Allen, P. (2022, January 07). Research Methods – Experimental Methodology - Content Analysis [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/experimental-methodology/content-analysis

MLA style

Allen, Peter. "Research Methods – Experimental Methodology – Content Analysis." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 07 Jan 2022, https://massolit.io/courses/experimental-methodology/content-analysis

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