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Content Analysis

  • By: James D. Robinson & Yan Tian
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Content analysis is a method used by researchers to analyze or scrutinize messages. The content can come from traditional mass media channels (e.g., TV programs, books, newspaper/magazine articles, or billboards), traditional interpersonal communication channels (e.g., mails, diaries, interview transcripts), or it can come from new media channels (e.g., Twitter, Web sites, or YouTube videos). The content can be public information presented to a mass audience (e.g., Facebook pages open to the public), or the content can be private information available only to a single individual (e.g., e-mail messages). All types of recorded content can be analyzed using this method.

“Analysis” refers to what the researcher does with the content. Typically, what the researcher does is to count instances of signs and symbols that occur within the ...

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