Sources of Data, In General

Sources of Data

● Impressionistic analysis of documents, such as:

• Accounts of events, conversations, impressions, treaties, contracts, etc.

• Personal documents

* diaries

* letters

* autobiographies

* autobiographical fragments

● Systematic analysis of documents

• Content analysis

How many times do they say “Black Betty”?

John McCain Concession Speech.

Make two columns. In the right hand column, write positive words; in the left, negative. Record words that are positive (however you may define this) in the right, and negative in the left.

• Calculation of word ratios—e.g., percentage of words and phrases expressing optimism in speeches by government politicians seeking re-election as opposed to speeches by opposition party politicians.

● Participant observation, which it is claimed, allows the researcher to experience

some of the feelings of the persons being studied.

● Systematic observation making use of standardized check-lists

● Unstructured interviews with open-ended questions

● Use of a structured interview schedule

● Surveys in which respondents are provided with a choice of answers

● Available data

• Studies done by university researchers

• Government reports, e.g., the census bureau

• Reports of research done for private companies

● Experiments