Quantifying Qualitative Analyses of Verbal Data: A Practical Guide

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1162 Scopus citations


This article provides one example of a method of analyzing qualitative data in an objective and quantifiable way. Although the application of the method is illustrated in the context of verbal data such as explanations, interviews, problem-solving protocols, and retrospective reports, in principle, the mechanics of the method can be adapted for coding other types of qualitative data, such as gestures and videotapes. The mechanics of the method are outlined in 8 concrete steps. Although verbal analyses can be used for many purposes, the main goal of the analyses discussed here is to formulate an understanding of the representation of the knowledge used in cognitive performances and how that representation changes with learning. This can be contrasted with another method of analyzing verbal protocols, the goal of which is to validate the cognitive processes of human performance, often as embodied in a computational model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-315
Number of pages45
JournalJournal of the Learning Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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