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How does Judee Burgoon explain what a theory is?
- A theory is a set of systematic, informed hunches about the way things operate. A theory is not just one inspired thought or idea.
- Theories always involve an element of speculation.
A set of hunches
- When we have hunches it means we don't have answers.
- If no puzzle to be solved or obvious explanation, then there is no need to develop a theory.
- A theory is not just one inspired thought or isolated idea.
- A develped theory offers some sort of explanation.
- A theory will give some indication of scope.
- Theory construction involes multiple hunches.
Theories as Lenses
- Like the lens of a camera it highlights the idea that theories shape our perceptions by focusing attention on some features of communication while ignoring other features.
- Negative--might regard what is seen through the glass as so dependent on the theoretical stance of the viewer that we abandon any attempt to discern what is real or true.
Theories as Maps
- Communication theories are maps of the way communication works.
- The truth they depict may have to do with objective behaviors (outside) or subjective meaning inside our heads.
- Negative--A static theory, like a still photograph, can nevery fully portray the richness of interaction between people that is constantly changing.
Theories as Nets
- Karl Popper says that theories are nets cast to catch what we call "the world" trying to make the mesh finer and finer"
- Theories are the tools of the trade.Small nets capture distinct types of communication in local situations.
- The world can be interpreted as everything that goes on under the sun-requiring a grand theory that applies to all communication.
- Conversely, catching the world cancall for numerous special theories--different kinds of small nets to capture distinct types of communication in local situation.
- Negative--the theories could be woven so tightly that they snag everything that humans think, say or do, also raising questions about our freedom to choose some actions and reject others.
- Messages are the very core of communication study
- Communication involves talking and listening, writing and reading, performing and witnessing or doing anything that involves "messages" in any medium or situation.
- Text is a synonym for a message that can be studied, regardless of the medium.
- Communication as a crossroads discipline because academic areas intersect with the study of communication.
- For a message to be considered communication it must elicit a response.
Creation of Messages
The content and form of a text are usually constructed, invented, planned, crafted, constituted, selected, or adopted by the communicator.
Interpretation of Messages
- "words don't mean mean things, people mean things.
- Humans act toward people or things on the basis of the meanings they assign to those people or things.
- Words and other symbols are polysemic, open to multiple interpretations.
Communication as a relational process
- Communication is a process of relating.
- Communication is a relational process not only because it takes place between two or more people bt also because it affects the nature of the connections among people.
Messages that elicit a response
- The final component of communication. If the message fails to stimulate any cognitive, emotional, or behavioral reaction, it seems pointless to refer to it as communication.
- "Falling on deaf ears"
Hunches as a system of concepts
- A theory lays out multiple ideas
- Specifies the relationship among them
- Links are clearly defined with a pattern emerging
- Ties together all of the ideas into a unified whol
Fred Camir's description of theory
- Theories are somethimes defined as educated guesses
- Not based on vague impressions nor accidental by-products of life
- Theories tend to result when the creator has discovered something in the environment which triggers the process of theory construction
Judee Burgoon' description of theory
A set of systematic, informed hunches about the way things operate. A theory is not just one inspired thought or idea.
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