Text analysis has been receiving increasing attention within the social sciences. This surge of interest is reflected in several recent books (Neuendorf, 2002; Popping, 2000; Smith, 1992; Weber, 1990; West, 2001), chapters (e.g., Smith, 2000), and review articles (e.g., Lee & Peterson, 1997; Pennebaker, Mehl, & Niederhoffer, 2003) on the topic. This chapter seeks to demonstrate that quantitative text analysis is a powerful, efficient, and easy-to-use scientific method with a wide spectrum of applications in psychology. It is organized into four major sections. At the beginning, an example of text analysis from social psychology is presented. This is followed by a brief historical overview of text analysis and an introduction to the conceptual foundation of text analysis. The third section reviews nine influential text analysis approaches in psychology. The final part discusses potentials and problems of quantitative text analysis.
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