3.958 content analysis software (65)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Wed, 24 Jan 90 20:05:27 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 958. Wednesday, 24 Jan 1990.

Date: Tue, 23 Jan 90 00:21:24 EST
From: (Robert Philip Weber) WEBER@HARVARDA
Subject: content analysis? (105)

Paul H. Bern <PHBERN@SUVM> writes:
>Specifically, I wish to content analyze open-ended responses
>collected in persuasion experiments. Each subject reads a message,
>lists his or her thoughts or reactions to the message in 1 to 5 or more
>sentences. I would need to compare the lists with the message, as
>well as compare the lists of subjects who read different messages.
>Eventually, I will need numeric data to perform factor analysis and
>analysis of variance, as well as some other analyses; I would like to
>do this in SAS.
>Would the General Inquirer "do" what I need it to, or is there
>another package that you think would be better?

The General Inquirer will do a good deal of what you want to do, but
written in an earlier era of computer software, it is not user
friendly. There is now a microcomputer version of Textpack that
is quite user friendly and runs in an MSDOS environment. It, too,
is available from ZUMA in Mannheim.

One of the differences between Textpack and the General Inquirer
is that the latter includes the ability to distinguish among
the senses of homographs. This increases the precision of
classification. Also, the distribution tape for the Inquirer
includes three general purpose dictionaries.

Before going further, I would recommend looking at my
*Basic Content Analysis* (Sage, 1985) to determine whether
the modes of analysis described there match the substantive
problems that you want to address. Beyond that, I would also
look at the following:

Zuell, Cornelia, Robert Philip Weber, and Peter Philip
Mohler. 1989. Computer-assisted Text Analysis for the
Social Sciences: The General Inquirer III. Mannheim,
FRG: Center for Surveys, Methods, and Analysis (ZUMA).

Namenwirth, J. Zvi and Robert Philip Weber. 1987.
Dynamics of Culture. Winchester MA: Allen & Unwin.

Zuell et al., is available from ZUMA also.

Bob Weber
Robert Philip Weber, Ph.D. | Phone: (617) 495-3744
Senior Consultant | Fax: (617) 495-0750
Academic and Planning Services |
Division |
Office For Information Technology| Internet: weber@popvax.harvard.edu
Harvard University | Bitnet: Weber@Harvarda
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Cambridge MA 02138 |