Content analysis is one of the most important but complex research methodologies in the social sciences. In this thoroughly updated Second Edition of The Content Analysis Guidebook, author Kimberly Neuendorf draws on examples from across numerous disciplines to clarify the complicated aspects of content analysis through step-by-step instruction and practical advice. Throughout the book, the author also describes a wide range of innovative content analysis projects from both academia and commercial research that provide readers with a deeper understanding of the research process and its many real-world applications.

An Integrative Approach to Content Analysis

As noted in the first chapter, this book takes the view that quantitative content analysis should be considered a research technique that conforms to the rules of science. Most closely related to the technique of survey research, content analysis uses messages rather than human beings as its units of data collection and analysis. Issues that apply include the criteria of the scientific method, including validity (internal and external), reliability, sample representativeness, the principle of maximum information (Woelfel & Fink, 1980), and objectivity (or intersubjectivity). Before proceeding with a discussion of exactly how content analysis may be conducted to achieve these standards, a basic background on the ground rules and terminology of the scientific method is in order.

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