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Nonreactive Research & Secondary Analysis

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  1. Nonreactive Research & Secondary Analysis 非反應式研究及二手資料分析 也可稱為: 非介入性研究 Social Research Methods, Spring, 2007 March 8~14, 2007

  2. Reactive Research: experiments, survey research Reactive: the people being studied are aware of that fact Nonreactive Research: those being studied are not aware of the fact Four techniques: Nonreactive measures Content analysis Existing statistics Secondary analysis Reactive vs. Nonreactive Research

  3. Also could be called unobtrusive research (非介入性研究) Historical/comparative analysis can be seen as unobtrusive research as well.

  4. Why nonreactive (unobtrusive) research? methods of studying social behavior without affecting it (研究社會行為但不會影響它) such methods can be qualitative or quantitative pay attentions to validity and reliability

  5. Nonreactive Measurement (非反應式的測量) • Note: People leave evidence of their social behavior or actions “naturally.” • The logic of nonreactive measurement: researchers notices something that indicates a variable of interest (某件事指向有趣或有意義的變數) • So, the researcher infers from the evidence to behavior or attitudes without disrupting those being studied. (從證據解釋行為或態度,不需打擾到被研究者)

  6. Varieties of Nonreactive or Unobtrusive Observation • Physical Traces • Erosion measures (侵蝕性測量): selective wear, Ex: worn tiles on the floor in a museum • Accretion measures (增生性測量): deposits of something left behind, Ex: garbage, liquor bottles, etc • Archives: marriage records, family portraits, etc. • Observation: people’s wear, behaviors, etc.

  7. Nonreactive Measurement • Recording and Documentation • Conceptualization • Link a construct to nonreactive empirical evidence (將建構的概念連結到非反應式的實證證據) • Operationalization • Systematically notes and records observations (有系統地記錄及觀察) • Rule out reasons for the observation other than the construct of interest (排除其他原因)

  8. Content Analysis: gather and analyze the content of text (內容分析: 蒐集及分析文本內容的技術) the content: words, meanings, pictures, symbols, ideas, etc. the text (文本): anything written, visual, or spoken, a medium for communication 內容分析: 人類傳播記錄的研究

  9. Content Analysis can be quantitative or qualitative qualitative researchers treats documents as cultural objects discover content in a different way compare content across many texts and analyze it with quantitative techniques

  10. Topics Appropriate for Content Analysis: • Well suited to the study of communication (適合傳播研究) • Who say what, to whom, why, how, & what effect • Generalization limited to the cultural communication itself (概推僅限於文化傳播本身) • Three types of research problems • Involving a large volume of text (涉及大量文本的問題) • A topic to be studied “at a distance” (遠距離的研究) • Reveal messages in a text that are difficult to see (揭露一般觀察很難察覺的訊息)

  11. Measurement and Coding • Need careful measurement, make replication possible (謹慎測量,量化分析可被重複) • Clear conceptualization • Operationalization: define a coding system • How to systematically observe and record content from text (如何有系統地從文中觀察及記錄)

  12. Measurement and Coding • Units: a word, a phrase, a theme, a newspaper article, etc. • Other units possible • Measure What? • Structured observation: systematic & careful observation based on written rules (結構式的觀察: 根據撰寫的規則有系統的、謹慎的觀察) • Mutually exclusive and exhaustive categories • Four characteristics of text content: frequency, direction, intensity, and space

  13. Coding, Validity, and Reliability • Manifest (顯性) Coding: coding the visible, surface content (可見的、表面的內容加以編碼) • Ex: counting the # of times a word used in a text • Highly reliable, but validity questionable • Latent (隱性) Coding: look at the underlying, implicit meaning in the content of a text (分析文本中隱藏的、暗示性的意涵) • Less reliable, validity better • Intercoder reliability: consistency across coders

  14. Ex: How to conduct content analysis research? • Formulate a research question • Units of analysis • Sampling: often use random sampling • Manifest or latent coding, written rules for coding, recording sheet • Variables and constructing coding categories • Inferences: content analysis describes what in the text

  15. Strengths and Weaknesses of Content Analysis • Advantages • Its economy in terms of time and money (經濟) • Safety (安全) • Studying a long period of time (研究長時間的過程) • Unobtrusive: seldom has effects on the subject being studied • Disadvantages • The limitation of recorded communications (必須要有記錄) • Problems of validity and reliability

  16. Existing Statistics/Documents & Secondary Analysis (既有統計資料/文獻及二手資料分析) • Appropriate Topics: difficult to specify topics • Any topic with publicly available information could be studied (資料被蒐集過且可公開取得) • Topics involving information collected by large bureaucratic organizations • Social Indicators (社會指標): indicators of social well-being

  17. Documents and existing statistics Government or international agencies and private sources May take time and efforts to locate Secondary survey data Secondary analysis: analyzing data, not collecting data Ex: General Social Survey (GSS), 中研院的社會變遷基本調查 Locating Data

  18. Limitations of existing statistics/secondary analysis Danger of 2nd data analysis and existing statistics research: • Use existing statistics/2nd data not appropriate for his/her research question • The researcher does not understand the substantive topic • The fallacy of misplaced concreteness (過度強調統計資料的細節)

  19. Limitations of existing statistics/secondary analysis • Units of analysis and variable attributes • Aggregate vs. individual • Validity • Definitions not match • A proxy for a construct (一概念建構的替代品) • No control over how information is collected

  20. Limitations of existing statistics/secondary analysis • Reliability: stability reliability, equivalence reliability, representative reliability • Missing data: data lost or never been collected

  21. Issues of Inference and Theory Testing • Limited inferences from nonreactive data • Ethical concerns • The privacy and confidentiality of using information gathered by someone else • Official statistics are social and political products