The Code Weight Frequency by Descriptor Field Chart allows for a focus on the code weight distribution across descriptor field categories. The following example is based on the ‘Reading by Mother’ code and the ‘General Home Language’ descriptor field. The resulting chart shows clusters of excerpts tagged with ‘Reading by Mother’ across the weight scale and broken out by the home language descriptor field sub-groups. These displays can help communicate complex patterns and provide easy access to subsets of excerpts meeting specific sub-group and weight level criteria.
The Code Weight Frequency by Descriptor Field charts is a prime example of how mixed methods can expose important patterns in research data. Well designed code weight systems are ‘grounded’ on the underlying qualitative data—they are based on investigator defined variation within the sample population. When such systems are clearly defined and reliably applied, they:
Help generate clear illustrations of how coded qualitative content is distributed across the weighting system
Represent quantitative distributions of cases within the sample population across code applications, i.e., defining and exposing patterns of specific code application across the sample—providing both numerical information on cases based on the code’s content and a ‘grounded’ appreciation for each level of the weight system
Expose descriptor sub-group variation in the weighting assigned to each code application
Provide numerical representations of qualitative content that can be exported for use in other quantitative analysis.