Coding and Counting- Frequency Analysis for Group Interaction
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The basic idea of this chapter is to provide an introduction to the design and conduct of frequency analysis for group research. Frequency analysis has been commonly used for decades in several disciplines and fields of research as stand alone procedures (e.g., configural frequency analysis in clinical psychology, Lienert, 1971). But, despite of specialised articles in experimental psychology journals (e.g., Wickens, 1993), the description of frequency analysis as a specific method within group studies (e.g., coding group interaction data like chat protocols, then calculating frequencies across categories) is rare. This is remarkable, because the interests in frequency analysis nowadays have moved towards to the procedures of implementing its results as indices for further analysis, e.g. for the investigation of relationships between group processes like collaboration and outputs like performance by using the results of frequency analysis as inputs in inferential statistics. In this vein, this chapter attempts to highlight the most important options to use frequency analysis in group research as a relevant brick to gap the bridge between qualitative and quantitative methods (mixed method research). Furthermore, we fold into our descriptions and discussions empirical examples to illustrate the prerequisites, requirements and consequences of using frequency analysis in the field of group research. Finally, we clarify ways to present the results of frequency analysis for analyzing group data.