Communication Research Exam 1
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Communication Research Exam 1
Research Methods in Communication Studies Exam 1 Review
Predicting behavior (How would John react if I wrecked the car?)
A blanket observations--stereotypes.
benefits: help us get through things if we overgeneralize
how to fix: commit to how many observations to make
ignoring things that don't fit the pattern. eg. buying a new car and recognizing more of the same car
when logic is not used to come to conclusions.
The premodern view
One big reality: Different views are wrong.
One reality with many interpretations.
No one reality, only many realities
basing information on observation
trying to find a pattern of communication behavior, think probabilistic pattern
the majority of the whole--group, not individuals
of message production, transmission and meaning making
systematically examine the
content or form
of communicative messages
functions and effects
Comprehensive survey of what's already been done (scholarly journals, books/chapters). Provides the argument for your research questions or hypothesis.
Characteristics of quantitative research
Measurable, survey, numerical research
Organization of quantitative research
Title, byline, abstract (
: the purpose of study/rq
: Participants, materials, procedures
: Contains statistical language
: English translation of results
Checklist for reading research reports
1. Try not to evaluate a study outside the parameters of the approach to knowing in which it is positioned.
2. Try not to reject findings because a study its method are not perfect.
3. Try not to confuse form with substance
Purposes of research
: Initial step into topic area
: Describe a phenomenon
3. Casual/Functional Explanation
: How/Why? Finding out how one variable impacts another.
: Qualitative goal (interviewing) Second step when you move beyond describing an event to really understanding what is going on.
Unit of Analysis
Individual, group, social artifact, organization
HOW you're collecting data, through which means?
Less observation. A snapshot.
: Takes more observation.
Trends (monthly survey to see if people like president), Cohort (comparing freshman each year), panel (using same people over time)
Physical setting is part of the study
Physical setting is NOT part of the study
Seeks to explain a class of situations or events rather than a single one
Study variables through quantitative research
Cause comes first
Start with observations. Facts to theories, moves from particular instances to general principles.
Start with theories
States a predicted empirical outcome, what you expect to happen based on research
Can be proven false
Both go up or down together
As one goes up, the other goes down
when one variable is not measurable numerically--male v. female
Relationship is positive or negative. More specific
We're not sure. More vague--amount of conflict will vary between roommates.
How, specifically, variables will be measured
Presumes no difference in relationship.
Origin of ethics
Nazis, prisoners, unethical researchers
NO ONE knows the identity of person being surveyed
ONLY RESEARCHERS know identity of those being surveyed
Okay if debriefing is done after
How can you protect participants?
Pseudonyms, not disclosing identifiable information, describing group not individuals
Why be honest and have integrity?
Owe it to the scientific community and to society.