Analyzing Comparative Data:

Authored by: Rens Vliegenthart

Handbook of Comparative Communication Research

Print publication date:  April  2012
Online publication date:  June  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415802710
eBook ISBN: 9780203149102
Adobe ISBN: 9781136514241


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As the previous chapters have shown, comparative communication research comes in many forms, and the data obtained from comparative research can differ greatly. Choosing the most appropriate strategy for data analysis is often not an easy task and depends almost completely on the characteristics of the data at hand and the research questions the research seeks to answer. What data obtained within a comparative research design share, however, is that regular (statistical) techniques usually do not suffice. Researchers in the field of communication science have only recently started to consider and discuss the particularities of a comparative research design (see, for example, Esser & Pfetsch, 2004; Strömbäck & Kaid, 2008). This Handbook is an example of the progress that has been made in this area during recent years. In those attempts, communication scholars have looked extensively at neighboring research fields such as political science, organization sciences, sociology, and social psychology. Here, a longer tradition in conducting comparative research exists. In those fields also the statistical techniques that are being used have been further developed. In this chapter I will discuss relevant insights from those areas, but will always devote attention to their applicability within the field of communication science.

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