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Using Word Frequencies to Analyze Political Language and Moral Focus

By: & Published: 2019 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Datasets Part 2

These data were collected to explore the use of moral words, as formulated in the Moral Foundations Dictionary (Graham, Haidt, & Nosek, 2009; e.g., abuse, fair, sacred), in political news articles. The data were gathered from four popular U.S. news websites (National Public Radio, The New York Times, Fox News, and Breitbart) because of their known political affiliations. This example focuses on how a researcher can turn qualitative data, such as news articles, into a measurable outcome through word frequency analysis. By analyzing each source’s political language through word frequency, you can examine trends in many psychological topics. This example focuses on morality and moral language to provide examples of differences in political rhetoric across party affiliation. The dataset files are accompanied by a Teaching Guide and a Student Guide.

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