Introduction to Text and Content Analysis Techniques

Prof. Dr. Matthias R. Hastall

Text analysis and content analysis techniques are powerful research methods for extracting and interpreting the meaning of documents such as news articles, speeches, social media postings, or videos sequences. Three popular approaches – qualitative text analysis, quantitative content analysis, and computer-based or dictionary-based text analysis – are introduced, examined, and then applied in course projects. The theoretical foundations, issues of validity, reliability, and subjectivity, as well as data analysis and presentation strategies will be covered, and the approaches will be contrasted regarding their potential to answer a wide range of research questions. The benefits of using free and commercial content analysis software (e.g., MAXQDA, LIWC, Yoshikoder) will be also examined. The course is introductory, however, a basic knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methodology is beneficial. Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptop computer for our practice sessions, and invited to present and discuss their own content analysis projects, if desired.