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Observing «and» Analyzing Communication Behavior

John A. Courtright

This is a book about communication behavior: how we conceptualize it, observe it, measure it, and analyze it.
The 1970s and 1980s were times when communication behavior was a primary interest of many communication scholars. The aim of this book is to reignite some interest in and passion about how human communication behavior should be studied. It presents the best advice, techniques, cautions, and controversies from the 1970s and 1980s and then updates them. Several chapters also introduce statistical methods and procedures to allow readers to analyze behavioral data.
This book is a useful resource for communication scholars and graduate students to guide their study of communication behavior.
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3 Coding Communication Behavior

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Chapter 3

Coding Communication Behavior

As discussed in the previous chapter, appropriately unitizing communication behavior—as important and as difficult as that may be—leaves the units completely undefined in terms of what they are or what they do. Such definition requires two or more human beings to apply to each and every unit a label (i.e., a “code”) from a theoretically appropriate coding system. This task, however, is not as straightforward and uncomplicated as the previous sentence makes it seem. Considerable preparation is required prior to any coding taking place. Ongoing diligence is required throughout the actual coding, including consistent checks on coder accuracy. Finally, coder disagreements must be identified and settled. This chapter will address these and other important issues.

Selecting or Creating a Coding System

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