Analysis of products of activity (content analysis) - Psychodiagnostics. Theory and practice

Analysis of activity products (content analysis)

In psychodiagnostics, there is another way of obtaining information about a person - this is the quantitative and qualitative analysis of documentary and material sources, which allows studying the products of human activity. Under the term & quot; document source & quot; letters, autobiographies, diaries, photographs, tapes, creative results in different types of art, media materials (newspapers, magazines, etc.) are understood.

In order to be able to overcome the subjectivity of the researcher, to reveal reliable information and accurately register it, a special method called & quot; content analysis & quot; (literally & quot; content analysis & quot;). For the first time it began to be used since the 1920's. the last century for the processing of media materials. This is a more or less formalized method of document analysis, when on the basis of the researcher's hypothesis special information units are allocated in the documentary materials, and then the frequency of their use is calculated. So, for example, in the 1920s. Russian researcher II. A. Rybnikov in the course of the essay analysis traced the distribution of positive and negative assessments by schoolchildren of his life, depending on age and gender. Or another example: in the 1980s. NN Lepekhin and Ch. A. Shakeyeva conducted a content analysis of episodes of cruelty and aggression in Western and domestic films.

Thus, the main procedure of content analysis is related to the translation of qualitative information into the language of the account. To this end, two types of units are distinguished: semantic, or qualitative, units of analysis and units of account, or quantitative units. The main difficulty in working with documentary sources is the ability to conduct a qualitative analysis, i.e. to select the semantic units. This largely depends on the personal competence of the researcher, the level of his creative abilities.

Since the content analysis is based on the principle of repeatability, the frequency of use of different semantic units (for example, certain concepts, judgments, images, etc.), it should be used only when there is sufficient material for analysis.

In content analysis, from a simple calculation of the frequency of occurrence of certain semantic units, they gradually moved on to more complex statistical methods (correlation technique and factor analysis). A new stage in the development of this method was its computerization. This is especially widely used in the US - standard programs for analyzing various documents are developed there, which allow you to quickly and reliably analyze a huge amount of information and free the encoders from the tedious manual method.

In psychological diagnosis, content analysis is most often used as an auxiliary method or procedure for processing data from other studies. With its help, the verbal messages of the subject are analyzed, accompanying almost any diagnostic examinations, especially with an individual procedure. Content analysis can be applied to the processing of data obtained through projective techniques (for example, Rorschach ink spot techniques, "Completion of sentences"); interview, the content of conversations, other speech and written products of the subject; open questionnaire questions, etc. So, in the methods of diagnosis of personality traits (anxiety, neuroticism, etc.), a content analysis of the grammatical and stylistic constructions of the subject's speech is conducted: the number of thematic & quot; utterances (illness, fear, uncertainty, etc.), verbs, logical blocks, etc. Such analysis often allows to reveal and objectify the latent tendency in the respondent's answers.

One more group of techniques should be briefly mentioned. Recently, the term " & quot; teacher tests & quot; appeared in Western psychological literature. Paul mentions not only traditional tests of accounting and control of school achievements, but purposeful use by the teacher in his work of malformalized diagnostics. In particular, the ability to conduct systematic observations, aimed at studying the individual psychological traits of students, their behavior, is highlighted. Their very appearance in psychodiagnostic literature should be considered as one of the manifestations of dissatisfaction with that formalism, which has become an integral feature of psychological diagnosis. Only a combination of formalized methods of diagnosis with observations, conversations, teacher tests and so-called. forms of study of the subject can give a satisfying result.

In conclusion, I would like to note that the classification of psychodiagnostic techniques given in this chapter is not exhaustive. It can be expanded by using other principles of dividing methodologies into groups. So, in the book "General Psychodiagnostics" the classification of psychodiagnostic methods is given on the basis of the presence or absence of assessments of performing tasks by type correctly/incorrectly. A group of psychodiagnostic techniques, where the subjects' answers are always evaluated as correct or incorrect, comprise intelligence tests, abilities gests, achievement tests and some personal action tests (for example, Witkin's disguised figure test). To a group of methods in which the concept of a correct or incorrect answer does not exist, include personal questionnaires, projective techniques and psychophysiological techniques.

Another reason for the classification of techniques can be measure of inclusion in the diagnostic procedure of the psychodiagnost itself and the extent of its influence on the results of the experiment. This principle allows us to divide psychodiagnostic techniques into the following groups: 1) those where the influence of psychodiagnost is expressed minimally, 2) those where the influence of psychodiagnost is expressed as much as possible, and 3) those where the influence of psychodiagnost is expressed in an average degree (intermediate position between the two poles). The first group includes tests of intelligence, abilities, achievements, many questionnaires and psychophysiological methods. In them, both the experiment procedure and the fixing of the results are a routine operation and can be entrusted to a lab technician or a computer. The second group consists of different types of interviews, interviews, observations. Here, on the contrary, psychodiagnostics with their reactions, cues, behavior can create such working conditions in which obtaining the necessary information will be difficult or even distorted. The third group includes multidimensional questionnaires, questionnaires with open answers, projective techniques, in which the degree of involvement of the psychodiagnost is great at the stage of interpretation of the results obtained. The psychodiagnostic conclusion, which is made on the basis of these methods, is not free from the influence of the personality of the diagnostician, his professional competence.

The list of grounds for the classification of psychodiagnostic techniques can be continued.

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)