Monday, March 4, 2013

Thematic Analysis in Psychology

Thematic analysis in psychology is used in qualitative research and focuses on examining themes within data. This method emphasizes organization and rich description of the data set. Data set refers to all the data from the corpus that are being used for a particular analysis. Thematic analysis goes beyond simply counting phrases or words in a text and moves on to identifying implicit and explicit ideas within the data. Coding is the primary process for developing themes within the raw data by recognizing important moments in the data and encoding it prior to interpretation. The interpretation of these codes can include comparing theme frequencies, identifying theme co-occurrence, and graphically displaying relationships between different themes. Thematic analysis is widely used, but there is no clear agreement about what thematic analysis is and how you go about doing it (79). However one of the benefits of thematic analysis is its flexibility. Qualitative analytic methods can be roughly divided into two camps. Thematic analysis differs from other analytic methods that seek to describe patterns across qualitative data. It is unlike the theoretical commitments of grounded theory if they do not wish to produce a fully worked-up grounded-theory analysis. (81) Thus the clarity on process and practice of method is vital. 

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