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Assignment 2: Content Analysis (25 points):

Content analysis is the study of communication, whether it is television, movies, books, or speeches. For this assignment you will conduct a content analysis of the use of Salvia divinorum on YouTube.  Before you begin your research, below is some background on Salvia.


Salvia divinorum is a naturally occurring hallucinogenic drug from the mint family indigenous to Mexico and Central and South America.  Salvia divinorum has a long history of medical and spiritual use by the Mazatecs, an indigenous people who live in southern Mexico.  The Salvia divinorum is simply known as “salvia,” but is also called “magic mint” or “Sally D.”  Initially, the leaves of the plant were smoked in a pipe or water pipe.  Today, most users smoke “salvia extracts” that are bought on in head shops or the Internet.


Your assignment is to go to YouTube and type in the key word “salvia trip.”  You should then watch a minimum of 6 videos concerned with the use of Salvia and then write a research report discussing your findings.  Your research report should address the following questions:


  1. What are the effects of Salvia?
  2. What are several similarities among Salvia users?
  3. What type of YouTube videos showing salvia use had the highest ratings?
  4. What were some of the comments on YouTube about the Salvia videos?
  5. Imagine that you were going to distribute a survey to Salvia users, what type of questions would you ask them?
  6. Imagine you had to set-up an experiment related to Salvia use, describe the experiment.  What would be your main research question?
  7. Describe how one could conduct qualitative research (field research) on Salvia use.  What else would you like to know about Salvia if you were to conduct future research?

Your paper should be a minimum of  500 words in length.

Please do not cite the videos on YouTube.  Please attempt to use YouTube videos as you only source of information about Salvia.  You should not use other websites or Wikipedia.

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