Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 20:3 (2009), pp. 476-480.


International Society for Exploring Teaching and Learning,

Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License


The current research employs the use of content analysis to teach research methods concepts among students enrolled in an upper-division research methods course. Students coded and analyzed Jimmy Buffett song lyrics rather than using a downloadable database or collecting survey data. Students’ knowledge of content analysis concepts increased after a lecture on the topic of content analysis, but it further improved after participating in the song coding, data cleaning, and writing of results. Additionally, students reported high satisfaction with the project and believed it was an interesting and enjoyable technique for learning about research methods. We provide suggestions for incorporating similar data collection activities in undergraduate research methods courses.