Content Analysis Overview for Persona Development

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Information about Content Analysis Overview for Persona Development

Published on February 20, 2014

Author: pamelarutledge



After developing an Ad Hoc persona as the core of your engagement strategy, it's important to test your assumptions against real people and real data. Content analysis is a methodology for evaluating text-based data that can be gathered from social media tools.

Content Analysis THE PSYCHOLOGY OF AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT Dr. Pamela Rutledge | Dr. Jerri Lynn Hogg |

Qualitative Research “ “ A form of social inquiry that focuses on the way people interpret and make sense of their experiences and the world in which they live.

Main Types of Qualitative Research Case Study Attempts to shed light on a phenomena by studying in depth a single case example of the phenomena.  The case can be an individual person, an event, a group, or an institution. Grounded Theory Theory is developed inductively from a corpus of data acquired by a participant-observer. Describes the structures of experience as they present themselves to Phenomenology consciousness, without recourse to theory, deduction, or assumptions from other disciplines Ethnography Focuses on the sociology of meaning through close field observation of sociocultural phenomena. Typically, the ethnographer focuses on a community. Historical Systematic collection and objective evaluation of data related to past occurrences in order to test hypotheses concerning causes, effects, or trends of these events that may help to explain present events and anticipate future events.

“ Main Types of Data Collection & Analysis Those who are not familiar with “ qualitative methodology may be surprised by the sheer volume of data and the detailed level of analysis that results even when research is confined to a small number of subjects (Myers, 2002).

Three Main Methods Of Data Collection Interactive interviewing People asked to verbally described their experiences of phenomenon Written descriptions by participants People asked to write descriptions of  their experiences of phenomenon Observation Descriptive observations of verbal and nonverbal behavior Analysis begins when the data is first collected and is used to guide decisions related to further data collection.

“ “ In communicating--or generating--the data, the researcher must make the process of the study accessible and write descriptively so tacit knowledge may best be communicated through the use of rich, thick descriptions (Myers, 2002)

What is Content Analysis?  A formal methodology • To discover, uncover, or answer • Uncover unknown qualities about the data • Looking for patterns in the content

A Little History Systematic analysis of texts performed several times by religious entities prior to 1900 Major growth periods in the 20th Century Early 20th Century Studies of newspaper content Behavior sciences in 1930s and 1940s Begin to study media effects World War II Propaganda studies Post war expansion: conversation analysis, personal document analysis, processes of communication, and a generalized measure of meaning Source: Krippendorf, 2004

More History 1960s: Computer text analysis but challenging beyond quantitative analysis of text Today: extensive proliferation of traditional, electronic, and social media are leading to strong interest in content analysis and more powerful software

Content Analysis Software Evolution  Cards - counting  N-vivo – pulled out paragraphs  SPSS Text Analytics – computer generated counting increased the quantity accessible  Leximancer – text analytics plus context, same word with multiple meanings, concepts instead of keywords, interactive and visual

What is Watson?  We have a proliferation of Big Data,”  90% of the world‘s information was created in the last two years  80% of that 90% is unstructured or semi-structured information, like doctor’s notes or product reviews on Amazon  IBM’s Watson is a genius at reading unstructured information  The ability to format and use these knowledge banks will significantly alter how and how well humans make decision.

Application Areas Today News Analysis Sentiment Social Media Forensics Historical Reviews Political Documents Conversations Propaganda Television Content Bias Determination Song Lyrics National Security Video Game Content More ...

Content analysis is a formal methodology to study a collection of media to discover, uncover, or answer

A Formal Methodology A formal, objective method with rigor and repeatability Many methods and processes are valid Methodology example 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Determine research question Identify and collect samples Perform quantitative analysis Perform qualitative analysis Draw conclusions Summarize, publish, and share results

To Study A Collection of Media Media is a method of information communication Collections include the following (normalize formats to text) Written media such as newspapers, magazines, websites, Blogs, Tweets, Facebook pages, emails Audio, such as radio programs, interview transcripts, conversations (can be transcribed into text) Video, such as television, movies, news footage, YouTube videos (can be transcribed into text) Images described in text

To Discover, Uncover, Answer... Discover concepts, themes, and relationships in the collection Uncover unknown qualities about the data Answer a specific research question Concepts Themes Relationships

Key Points All methods of content analysis share common components:  Quantitative (counting) and qualitative (meaning) analyses  Analysts can use one or both methods  Content analysis is best when both quantitative and qualitative approaches are combined  Important study aspects include      Sampling Units Of Measure Coding Validity Reliability

Sampling: Taking a Subset Sampling plans are needed to reduce researcher bias Select a type of sampling (e.g., random) Sample size is important to be representative Split-half technique: Two samples equal the same result Source: Krippendorf, 2004

Units of Measure Sampling Part 2: Samples require a definition of data resolution Television comedies, 1/2 hour, Wednesday nights Entire tweet, tweets from a user, collection of topical tweets One blog entry, an entire blog, or consolidation of many blogs Newspaper article, articles of a set timeline Content analysts must determine these units to measure Impacts relationships of words and coding Concept discovery restricted to within units

Coding Process of examining text in a specific unit and extracting relevant data Look for words, phrases, word sense, and categorize units of text (i.e., words, sentences, paragraphs, tweets) Three methods of coding 1. Manual, by person(s) coding from codebooks, instructional guides, intuition 2. Computer-assisted (N*Vivo) beginning with coding then often some automation for remaining documents 3. Computer generated (Leximancer, CATPAC)

Reliability and Validity For a formal analysis method to be sound, reliability and validity must be addressed Reliability refers to stability and reproducibility Coding to be repeatable if manual or computer assisted Inter-rater reliability for manual coding with multiple coders affects reproducibility and must be ensured Measure of accuracy is tied to statistical norms Accuracy is the strongest form of reliability (Weber, 1990)

Validity Major concern for qualitative analysis in general Researcher chooses coding concepts --makes inferences Researcher bias, errors, conclusions Neuendorf listed external validity, face validity, criterion validity, content validity, and construct validity Are we measuring what we want to measure? “ Validity refers to general applicability of results and conclusions obtained from inferences in the study Neuendorf, 2002, p. 112

Quantitative Analysis in Qualitative Research Counting and statistics: Numeric measures Word frequencies How many times does a word appear? Specify stop-words to ignore (e.g., the, and, others) Need to consolidate synonyms, stems (e.g., dog = dogs) Compound words (i.e., word pairs) are important United States not good Categories (simply present or frequencies)

Quantitative Analysis of Qualitative Information Concept frequencies How often do concepts occur? Existence (occurs) or actual counts Other Statistics Proximity and co-occurrence frequencies can all be used to determine concept relationships

Qualitative Analysis Coding is performed to reduce text collection to categories (i.e., concepts) Analyst can seed concepts or discover concepts during analysis Often, the more discovery allowed the more objective the analysis (grounded theory reduces researcher bias) Concepts and their relationships form the foundations for extracting meaning Keyword in context (KWIC) Which words and how used (Weber, 1990)

Qualitative Analysis Coding is performed to reduce text collection to categories (i.e., concepts) Analyst can seed concepts or discover concepts during analysis Often, the more discovery allowed the more objective the analysis (grounded theory reduces researcher bias) Concepts and their relationships form the foundations for extracting meaning Keyword in context (KWIC) Which words and how used (Weber, 1990)

What is a Concept? Synthesis of a text representation Key words, including consolidating synonyms, stems Represents something meaningful Found by examining word, compound word, and surrounding words in a measurable unit Useful to display on a graphical “map”

Role of the Computer Solutions A content analysis can be done without a computer. Although... At a minimum, a computer serves as a document file folder and backup device And a search tool for and within documents Software can also assist with manual coding then continue coding automatically (N*Vivo) Or software can do coding automated by statistical processing (Leximancer) or networks (CATPAC)

Key Points Summary A content analysis is best when both quantitative and qualitative approaches are combined (Weber, 1990). Quantitative analysis counts and finds statistics Qualitative analysis determines meaning Important operational aspects include sampling, units of measure, coding, validity, and reliability

References Krippendorf, K. (2004). Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Neuendorf, K. A. (2002). The content analysis guidebook. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Weber, R. P. (1990). Basic content analysis. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Willig, C. (2008). Introducing qualitative research in psychology: Adventures in theory and method (2nd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Open University Press.

Additional Reading Evaluation of Unsupervised Semantic Mapping of Natural Language with Leximancer Concept Mapping, Andrew Smith. Conversations Between Careers and People With Schizophrenia: A Qualitative Analysis Using Leximancer, Julia Cretchley, Cindy Gallois, Helen Chenery, and Andrew Smith Analysis of Asynchronous Discourse in Web-assisted and Web-based Courses, David Thomas and Cleborne Maddux Computer Aided Phenomenography: The Role of Leximancer Computer Software in Phenomenographic Investigation, Sorrel Penn-Edwards Content Analysis of a Random Day of Two News Sites: and, Michael R. Neal

Qualitative Analysis 1. Grounded Theory 2. Phenomenological Analysis 3. Discourse Analysis 4. Narrative Research 5. Intuitive Inquiry


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