Summary

One purpose of this chapter was to demonstrate that quantitative text analysis is a powerful, efficient, and easy-to-use tool for psychological research. The review of nine different text analysis strategies showed that the spectrum of existing applications is wide—although some methods continue to rely on human judges, the majority use computers to count isolated words, and a few harness more sophisticated techniques to assess the semantic relationships.

Where will the field go from here? Extrapolating from current progress in artificial intelligence, there is no doubt that in the years to come, text analysis applications will become increasingly complex (West, 2001). Will simple word count programs soon be declared scientific history? Considering that they are currently the only solutions in which complete automation has been achieved (Shapiro, 1997), this scenario seems unlikely. With their ability to process large amounts of texts in a matter of seconds without any preformatting, word-count programs have a tremendous pragmatic advantage over more sophisticated tools that require a human labor force for extensive data preparation and text parsing.

Hence, researchers who are interested in text analysis are encouraged to be aware of the "bigger is better" fallacy. Tempting as it might seem, the assumption that more technically advanced pro grams will necessarily be more appropriate for addressing a researcher's question does not always hold up. Simple word-count approaches—crude, fuzzy, and error prone as they are—can often go a long way After all, by only using a simple homemade telescope and not high-resolution satellite pictures, Galileo was able to detect the four moons of Jupiter.

Chapter 12

MULTILEVEL ANALYSIS: PHYSIOLOGICAL AND BIOCHEMICAL MEASURES

Gary G. Berntson and John T. Cacioppo

The National Institute on Aging commissioned the National Academies of Science to organize scientific discussion that culminated in a workshop volume whose title queried, "Cells and surveys: Should biological measures be included in social science research?" (Committee on Population, 2001). The short answer to that question was yes.

Although psychologists have long appreciated the value of converging operations using multi-method approaches, the NAS report found that psychologists are increasingly engaged in research entailing multilevel analyses that extend well beyond the traditional disciplinary boundaries. Multilevel analyses represent a subset of multi-method approaches in which the measures, constructs, and theories extend across levels of organization—from the psychological to the physiological to the cellular and ultimately to the gene and beyond. Efforts to integrate information across levels of analyses are especially challenging, but this is precisely what is necessary for the ultimate interdisciplinary convergence on mind-body issues.

Multilevel analyses can be problematic, as the terms, constructs, and measures are often diverse, and the concepts and theories at different levels of analyses may develop largely independently of those of another level. This fosters what has been termed the category error, wherein seemingly parallel concepts from different levels of analysis may reflect only partially overlapping domains, rather than representing a one-to-one isomorphism. The ultimate goal of multilevel analysis is to mutually calibrate concepts, relate measures, and integrate information across levels, so as to inform processes and constrain theories at multiple levels of analysis.

More important, this process entails reductionism, but not in the pernicious sense of sub-stitutionism. Although it may be conceivable to explicate a motivational state in terms of the interactions of atomic elements, there are several important limitations to this approach. The first is the matter of efficiency and scale. The atomic underpinnings of motivational states are so extraordinarily complex that the language and constructs pertaining to atoms may not be the most efficient or feasible way to conceptualize motivation.

A second problem is the likelihood of a category error. Even if we could identify a set of atomic events that correspond to the motivational state, this does not imply an isomorphism. Motivation is a construct that has developed to account for variations in behavior of organisms; in the absence of behavior there would be no need for such a concept. Not only would there not be an agent to conjure up such a notion, but there would be no applicability at the atomic level. Although motivation certainly has causal relations to processes at the atomic level of analysis, there is not an identity across these vast levels, and it is patently silly to apply motivational constructs to atoms. Motivation applies to functional properties of more complex living organisms.

Preparation of this manuscript was supported in part by a grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (HL54428).

One might argue that motivational phenomena may be explicable ultimately in terms of the properties of atomic particles, and that the problem is simply one of the intricacy of mapping across such distal levels. This is a specious perspective, however. The third and most important limitation to substitutionism is that it begs the question1 if the properties imputed to lower level elements to account for higher level phenomena are knowable only by observations from the higher level of organization. This is a logical fallacy (begging the question or circular reasoning) because the "explanatory" properties are derived from the phenomena to be explained. These properties cannot be said to be proper to the elements, but only derivable from a higher level of analysis that studies the elements in relation to others. Some properties of atoms may be knowable by the study of individual atoms, but others (e.g., atomic behavior in crystals) may become known only in interactions with other atoms. Similarly, although atomic or subatomic events ultimately underlie all our thoughts, feelings, and actions, the latter phenomena could not be said to be proper characteristics of the atomic elements. If they were, then all principles and properties would be assigned to quantum particles, which would be patently senseless because these properties and principles would not be of the particles, but of their configurations into aggregates, which may be meaningfully explained by constructs at different levels of organization.

Multilevel analysis is not about substitutionism, but about the ability of information derived from distinct levels of analysis to mutually inform others. Reductionism refers to the ability of events at lower levels of analysis to inform or explicate events at higher levels of analysis. Multilevel analysis is a two-way process, however, as higher level analyses can also elucidate or inform lower level processes (extensionism). Important in this effort is the development and refinement of meaningful theories of the relations between levels. Also central to this reductionism-extensionism process is the mutual tuning and calibration of concepts to enhance cross-

level mappings and minimize category errors. This is especially important because of the intricacies and multiple mappings across distinct levels and the associated need for model constraints. This chapter highlights some features of multilevel analysis, provides a reductionism-extensionism framework for conceptualizing and implementing such analyses, and offers illustrative examples. A major theme is the mutual benefit that multilevel analyses offers for both the higher (e.g., psychological) and lower (e.g., physiological) levels of analysis.

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