Content Analysis for Research – Types & Its Importance with Example

02/12/2020 | George Orwell | 373

Concept of Content Analysis

Content analysis can be either a quantitative or qualitative approach  which researcher applies for analyzing the text. It is a type of analytical technique which  you can apply in different types of investigation such as media, marketing, sociology, etc. It is a research technique which mainly emphasizes on actual content. You can also consider content analysis to be the procedure of data analysis where the researcher performs an investigation on content within a message.

For example: The report containing the information about the weather conditions of particular location in next few days. By analyzing the text or content you can easily make your judgment about travelling to specific location.

Example of content analysis in quantitative research

For instance, an investigation which author performs with the purpose of identifying the issues in employment.  Investigators by analyzing the speech of different speakers  in a campaign researcher can easily identify the frequency of words like jobs, work, and employment. They can utilize statistical techniques for analyzing the difference in a speech of different people during the campaign.

Example of content analysis in qualitative research

Using the same above example, but here the researcher will require to locate the terms in speech and investigator will require to address the other phrases  which candidates has use for describing the term employment issues. Some of the candidates may have use term laziness, unemployment for describing the situation of employment.

Therefore, considering the fact the researcher will need to develop an understanding of the relationship between two different terms.

Different types of text in content analysis

The various types of texts in the content analysis are:

  • Written text: Such types of text include books journals etc.
  • Oral text: It includes oral speech.
  • Iconic texts: These are basically drawing, paintings, etc.
  • Audio-visual text: It includes TV programs, videos, movies etc.
  • Hyper texts: These texts are generally found on the internet.

Uses of content analysis

Uses of content analysis in research are:

  • Content analysis is an analytical technique that  which you can use for performing both qualitative and quantitative research.
  • You can apply content analysis in a different field such as media, marketing, cultural studies, etc.
  • It is the analytical technique  which researcher uses for analyzing the global differences in communication content. You can also use this technique  for analyzing  effectiveness of communication during first meeting with supervisor
  • Researcher uses Content analysis for judging intention, the purpose of an individual or group of people. Students can use content analysis  to judge intention of tutor  before making final choice of Dissertation supervisor. 
  • Content analysis also provides you with ease in analyzing or addressing the emotional state of an individual.
  • You can utilize the content analysis for determining the effect of external components present in the environment such as laws, code of conduct, culture, etc on message.

Importance of content analysis for research

  • Content analysis is very much important as it enables you to develop an understanding of the relationship between various concepts in a text.
  • In addition to this, content analysis is important as it will help you in developing the understanding of content and would support in addressing its key features.
  • The content analysis is significant as it will help you in eliminating the unstructured content in a text.
  • It will also support you in identifying the important facts in the content. It will also help you in determining the behavioral response to communication.
  • Content analysis has great importance as it helps you to increase the validity of outcomes by applying the techniques for eliminating biases.

Types of content analysis

The two most common type of content analysis are:

Conceptual analysis: It is basically a type of content analysis that mainly involves quantifying the presence of the specific term in a text.

Relational analysis: It is a procedure that includes the identification of concepts there in the text. The relational analysis mainly emphasizes on examination of the relationship between various concepts present in a text.

For Example: analysis of the speech given by president of America on health care services. While analyzing the speech of the president on health care services, the investigator will mainly emphasize on the use of both positive and negative words. Instead of analyzing the relationship between the texts investigator will be more interested in quantifying the number of the time positive or negative words for health care services are used by the president which is considered to be relational analysis. But in content analysis, the researcher is more concerned about the presence of positive and negative words in speech.

Advantages of content analysis

You can get various advantages by utilizing the content analysis. Some of the advantages are:

  • Through content analysis, you can easily analyze the pattern of communication.
  • You can utilize content analysis for performing both Quantitative and Qualitative operations.
  • Another biggest advantage of content analysis is that it enables to develop the understanding of complex models related to the use of language or human thoughts.
  • You can perform content analysis anytime and anywhere.

Disadvantages of content analysis

  • It is quite a time-consuming procedure
  • There are high chances of error in the case when you use the relational analysis for the purpose of interpretation of a text.
  • It could be quite difficult to automate.
  • It comprises of word count.
  • Content analysis disregards the context which creates text.
  • There are high chances of biasness while performing coding of units.

The procedure of content analysis

Before planning to perform the content analysis for research, you will require to formulate research questions.

For example : Is there any difference in speech given by different candidate  on employment issues during social campaign?.

The further process of content analysis in research includes the different phases these are:

Step 1st – Selection of content for analyzing:

It is the research question that you have select that will help in the selection of text. After making the choice of text you need to determine the medium that is sources of content . The different sources of content could be a website, speeches, and newspaper. After the selection of medium, you will require to establish a criterion for inclusion such as a newspaper that contains a description of a particular program or website. Then at the next phase, you will need to set parameters such as location, date range. If in case you are planning to analyze the large volume of text then in such a situation you will need to perform sampling for electing few people as simple in research.

For example: Media representing employment issues, and you intend to examine the article in news. As it is large volume of content then you will need to  select few newspaper by applying sampling technique.

Step 2nd – Units for content:

It is basically a phase in the content analysis where you need to establish the standard in order to analyze text. For example, you need to record the frequency of the term. In addition to this, you will also require to determine the categories which you can use for the objective of coding.

Step 3rd – Preparation for coding of content:

It is a stage in a content analysis where you need to arrange units  according to the predetermined sequence. Here, it is very much essential for you to clearly define the regulation before performing coding as these tactics will help you in making the  research methodology more consistent.

For example, considering above example, you have use economy as category .Then you have to determine that which term can relate to employment issue,

Step 4th – Content coding:

You for performing the content-coding is need to record all relevant information in their suitable categories.

Step 5th – Analysis of outcome and Making conclusion It is a phase:

where you need to examine the information  by doing so you will able to identify pastern and make a conclusion.

The Procedure Of Content Analysis

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