Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 55 Issue 4 (December 1982), Pages 297-390

Content analysis of verbal behaviour in psychotherapy research: A comparison between two methods (pages 327-333)

Verbal behaviour of a mixed patient population during psychotherapeutic interviews was analysed for affective content by means of two content analytic techniques, the Gottschalk‐Gleser method and the ‘anxiety topics dictionary’ developed at the University of Ulm. Both methods share basic theoretical assumptions regarding affect definition and strive for pragmatic relevance in their meaning categories. They differ with respect to the analysis program they employ, the main difference being the coding unit and the extent to which they take into account contextual information. Correlational data presented shows a significant positive relationship between scores for shame and separation anxiety from both methods. A somewhat weaker correlation was found for guilt anxiety. These results suggest a formal similarity between these constructs as operationalized by both methods and call for further research on the comparability of meaning categories in studies of verbal behaviour.

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