Intercoder Reliability Techniques: Cohen’s Kappa

Cohen’s kappa (κ) constitutes one classic technique of measuring the level of consistency between two raters. This entry discusses measuring intercoder reliability using κ and presents two approaches for characterizing κ.

Measuring Intercoder Reliability

Suppose there is a researcher investigating the extent to which a particular news company produces reports in favor of a certain presidential candidate. The investigator would first generate a sample frame (e.g., news aired or published within certain time period) and then randomly select a predetermined number of news articles to be used for analysis. The researcher will finally create a coding protocol whereby each unit of analysis (e.g., word, sentence, paragraph, whole article) can be judged whether or not it contains elements conveying favorable attitudes toward the ...

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