Content Analysis Hypothesis Development

(And so the saga continues as I wrassle with determining what a proper hypothesis.  The below is an indication of how far I have come and ow far I need to go.  But I am getting closer.) 

  1. Original Hypothesis:  Individuals and small groups are influenced by intentional sexist propaganda embedded in media texts that influence unintentional propaganda in conversational language.
  2. Alternative Hypothesis 1:  Implicit language in media texts will influence the behavior of individuals and small groups.
  3. Alternative Hypothesis 2:  Unintentional propaganda that occurs between individuals and in small groups is influenced by the language of sexism within everyday conversation embedded within media texts.
  4. If you were to use a content analysis method for your study, how would you (if at all) change your hypothesis? Has this method been used to test hypotheses similar to yours? How? To what effect? I believe content analysis would benefit my study hypothesis, especially the responses to questions posed in interviews, focus groups, as well as the propaganda present in media texts used as reference material for the interviews and focus groups.  The content could be coded, analyzed, and rated on degree of gender propaganda influence.  Yes, content analysis of media texts has been used in at least one study (Saito, 2007).  Saito cites previous studies that analyzed content of sexist role playing in television advertising over several hours and another that analyzed content of role playing on two television news shows.
  5. 5.              What are some possible benefits of using this method to test your hypothesis? Some possible benefits of using this method are codifying into a visual representation of what sexism exists in the media and what focus group and interview participants are exposed to in the media.  Additionally, results can be converted into a statistical result that represents these results statistically. 
  6. 6.              What are some possible limitations of using this method to test your hypothesis? Given that I am using content analysis as a supplement to the other methods, I don’t see any limitations to using content analysis. 
  7. 7.              What ethical issues (if any) might you have if you used a content analysis method to test your hypothesis? How might you overcome these issues? (Hint: Have any other studies had to address these issues?) Given that I am analyzing the influence of sexist language upon media propaganda texts and the unintentional propaganda influence upon small groups, I don’t foresee any ethical issues given that the pervasiveness of what I will be studying is everywhere where everyone is already influenced by it unless I discover a interview or focus group participant who lives isolated away from all media (in other words, a hermit).  If I do, that participant would have to be excused because they are not regularly exposed to media of any kind and would not make a viable participant.



Saito, S. (2007). Television and the Cultivation of Gender‐Role Attitudes in Japan: Does Television Contribute to the Maintenance of the Status Quo?.Journal of communication57(3), 511-531.


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