Chapter 8: Analysis of Available Data
Applied Social ResearchA Tool for the Human Services
Terms in this set (11)
Observations collected by someone other than the investigator for purposes different from the researcher's
Statistical data are quantified observations of some element of human behavior
"Documents" are any form of non-quantitative communication
Sources of Statistical Data
Research project data
Federal, state and local social service organizations
Governmental data collection organizations
Private organizations such as professional associations
Issues in Using Statistical Data
Research must be designed to fit the data instead of data collection designed for the research
Validity and reliability
Unit of analysis
Content analysis refers to a method of transforming the symbolic content of a document from a qualitative, unsystematic form into a quantitative, systematic form.
"Document" refers to any recorded form of communication that is non-quantitative in nature, such as a book, letter, audio or video recording, or some other format.
Coding Scheme Features
-Exhaustive and mutually exclusive
Unit of analysis
-Sentence or paragraph
Manifest coding refers to coding the more objective or surface content of a document or medium.
Example: Frequency of minorities appearing in media photos.
Latent coding involves inference from the representation in the document to a more abstract category of phenomenon.
Example: How "central" are the minority characters?
Validity of Content Analysis
Validity refers to whether the categories developed and the aspects of the content coded are meaningful indicators of what we intend to measure.
Reliability in Content Analysis
Reliability relates to the ability of coders to consistently apply the coding scheme.
-Training the coders
-Simple and objective categories
Elements of the population of documents may not be equal.
Difficulty in defining the population of documents.
Selecting a sampling approach:
Assessment of Unobtrusive and Available Data Research
-Reach inaccessible subjects
-Lack of comparability over time