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Content Analysis


This module is concerned with classical content analysis, which is an approach to text analysis that is distinctly quantitative and scientific in style. In content analysis (regardless of how the codes were obtained in the first place) you have a set codebook that lists of all the codes and their meanings, which is used to guide the coding. Typically, the coding is done by several coders who are unfamiliar with the specifics of the research objectives.



  • Coding text using an a priori codebook

  • Measuring interrater reliability





  • Krippendorf, K. 1980. Content Analysis: An Introduction to its Methodology. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications. (entire book)
  • Jehn, Karen "Ettie". 1997. A qualitative analysis of conflict types and dimensions in organizational groups. Administrative Science Quarterly 42: 530-557. [^pdf]
  • Gersick, Bartunek & Dutton. 2000. Learning from Academia: The importance of relationships in professional life. Academy of Management Journal 43(6): 1026-1044. [^pdf],
  • Jang, H. & G.A. Barnett, "Cultural Differences in Organizational Communication: A Semantic Network Analysis," Bulletin de Methodologie Sociologique, 44, 31-59, 1994 [PDF]





  • Roberts. Text Analysis for the Social Sciences
  • Cohen, Jacob. 1960 A coefficient of agreement for nominal scales. Education and psychological measurement 20:37-48. Cohen's alpha (kappa). Classic formula.
  • Cohen, Jacob. 1968 Weighted Kappa: Nominal scale agreement with provision for scaled disagreement or partial credit. Psychological Bulletin 70(4):213-220. Allows for some inter-coder disagreements.
  • William Evans (1996) "Computer-Supported Content Analysis: Trends, Tools and Techniques." Social Science Computer Review 14,3:269-279
  • Hruschka, Daniel. Reliability in Coding Open-Ended Data: Lessons Learned from HIV Behavioral Research [pdf]
  • Mitchell, Sandra K.1979 Interobserver agreement, reliability, and generizability of data collected in observational studies. Psychological Bulletin 86:376-390
  • Nolan & Ryan. (n.d.). Fear and Loathing at the Cinemaplex: Gender Differences in Descriptions and Perceptions of Slasher Films 
  • How to Use a Codebook, from Princeton University Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
  • Schrodt, Philip A. and Deborah J. Gerner. 1994. "Validity Assessment of a Machine-Coded Event Data Set for the Middle East, 1982-1992." American Journal of Political Science 38:825-854.



Send mail to sborgatti@uky.edu with questions or comments about this web site. Copyright 2008 by Steve Borgatti. Last modified: 08/11/09.



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