Research Methods COM 3311 Exam 1
Terms in this set (39)
What is communication?
- The study of how humans share and exchange ideas
- Conducting and consuming research
Dynamic model of communication (a.k.a. Transactional Model of Communication); and compared to the Linear model
a. Linear: S1 sends a message to R1. R1 receives the message. Cognitive processing takes place in R1 (decoding, interpreting, configuring new message to send taking place in the form of encoding). R1 then becomes S2 and sends a new message back to person #1 (S1) who is now R2.
i. This model doesn't take into consideration any distractions, miscommunications, history, nonverbal communication, or simultaneous talking.
ii. In short this model lacks the complexity that marks most communication events
b. Dynamic: S/R = sender/receiver: both participants are senders and receivers at the same time. KEY DIFFERENCES!
" Message: the idea being communicated; the purpose of the communication event
" Channel: the means of the message; can be verbal or nonverbal (using words or not) and vocal or nonvocal (using one's voice or not).
" Encoding: putting one's ideas into verbal/nonverbal-vocal/nonvocal formats to send the receiver
" Decoding: Deciphering the message received from the sender
" Feedback: any communication that encourages or discourages change
" Context: the circumstances that bring the communicators together; includes any history, shared experiences, or current event
" Noise: this is anything that distracts from sending or receiving the message. Noise can be cognitive (missing your significant other), psychological (depressed that mid-term is still so far away), biological (hunger), environmental (room is too cold), or communicator-based (the other person is speaking very low and you have to strain to hear).
" Environment: the physical situation where the communication is place
a. Research: the activity of conducting intellectual investigations into the observable world.
i. Researches are generally concerned with discovering and investigating the means by which things work, in order to advance human knowledge with the goal of better understanding our world
ii. Driven by a desire to improve the human condition, as one of its fundamental motivations is the assumption that more and better knowledge can only serve to help humanity
b. Social Research: focuses less on the observable world in which human beings interact and more on the interactions themselves, how they come into existence, how they function, and how they affect the human experience.
i. Research in communication, psychology, sociology, economics, political science, and anthropology are typically classified as social research
ii. Communications researchers study parts of the observable world as it interacts with us-symbols-producing and symbol-using humans
c. Humanities Research: how we co-construct meaning through communication
d. Critical or Cultural Research: the construction, use, and abuse of power and control in a culture, situation, organization, or community
i. How communication creates identity within a culture, or how cultures use communication to construct meaning
What is research? (social research, humanities research, critical or cultural research)
How Is Research Knowledge Distributed? (academic publishing, social dialogue, public policy, popular press)
a. Academic: scholars publish books and volumes of selected studies that report the findings to their questions. Publish their work in journals and volumes outside the field or collaboration with scholars from other disciplines.
- instead it publicly putting it online, we academically publish through UCF or buy into the systems.
b. Social dialogue: government agencies, policymakers, and businesses frequently look to research published in academic journals
c. Popular press: comm scholars often release the results of their academic work to the popular press in hopes that it will draw the attention of those in business and government
i. Communication Currents: makes recent communication research accessible to the general public
Where Does Knowledge Come From and what are the differences between them? Strengths/weaknesses of each? (experience, tenacity, authority, traditions/customs/faith)
a. Experience: a common way of understanding the social world. What you learned through personal experience. i. "touching a hot stove with your hand is a pretty good teacher ii. It can be fruitful in the beginning, upon which we build to gain knowledge, but we can learn wrong things sometimes.
b. Tenacity: the assumption that something is true because it has always been said to be true
- pro: things we alerady know
-con: can be wrong
c. Authority: the reliance upon someone in a position of power to determine what is factual. This power may be derived from a variety of places, such as expertise, political power, religious authority, or interpersonal trust i. Authority has value, its saves us time
d. Traditions, Customs, and Faith: (Health communication scholars) are experts at understanding the role traditions, customs, and faith play in a communicating health information i. "an apple a day keeps the doctor away."
ii. the easter bunny and how they distribute gifts
Four problems with Everyday Ways of Knowing?
- Accuracy: we are not always accurate at observations so it is not always right.
- Overgeneralization: we over generalize certain scenerios
- Cognitive Conservatism: you are more likely to pay attention to things that confirm your beliefs. the most bias comes from here. this is based off of expereince so it is not absolute (priori: you know it to be true)
- Contradictory Knowledge: all dogs have clean mouths.
What Specific Areas Do Communication Researchers Study? (scholarly vs applied)
Scholarly: Primary research conducted by academic researches and distributed through academic publications with the desire to build theory.
Applied: Secondary research that takes the theoretical lessons learned in academic studies and applies them to vary real life context
Where Do Communication Researchers Study
a. In Businesses and Organizations - organizational communication- subfield, dedicated to studying the ways in which people exchange information in order to accomplish group or individual goals.
b. In Media - Media research- uses surveys, laboratory experiments, and content analysis to answer questions about the uses of responses to mediated information and can be useful in understanding how humans convey meaning
c. In Health Care.
d. In Interpersonal Interactions - Interpersonal communication- study of compliance gaining and social influence, persuading people to adopt certain attitudes or behaviors, information gathering, building understanding with each other; and creating and maintaining relationships in a variety of contexts
What Are the five Purposes of Library Research?
a. To determine what's already known about the topic and related topics
b. To define the problem and formulates possible solutions
c. To plan the collection of primary data
d. To define the population and select the sample in your primary information collection
e. To supply background information that will fill out what you find your primary research
Two Types of Research (primary & secondary)
a. Primary: Research that is conducted to answer a specific problem or question and produces original data. ex: survey, interview, etc.
b. Secondary: Research that has been previously collected or conducted. ex: PEW research center
Phases of research
a. Begin by asking yourself what topic interests you the most.
b. Form an idea about what we want to study.
c. Plan your study.
d. Research: give our terms definitions, add operationalization (measure our terms.).
e. Articulate how to measure
f. look to see how other researchers have defined similar terms.
Conceptualization- form the idea
operationalism- define your term
reconceptualizing- reconnect it back to the larger body of knowledge
Using Library Research
start by browsing through your textbooks to help find what interests you. once you have a general topic you can conduct library research that others have done to help refine your objective.
Determine your study objectives- what do you want to answer this.
"I am studying ____to learn ____" etc. once you have a theoretical framework you are done with library research.
a. Books: often given the original/primary information on a topic or theory, but typically are more out-of-date since there is a much longer lag time from writing to publication
b. Articles: in scholarly journals, tend to be up-to-date and therefore often cutting-edge; in peer-reviewed journals, have met academic standards
c. Government statistical data: often available online, usually up-to-date and available
d. Other sources: typically not appropriate for a scholarly review of the literature
e. magazines, newspapers, and websites
Collections of published, peer reviewed scholarly research that are often consulted by academic scholars, government agencies, policy makers, and businesses to inform their decision making.
The way in which a scholarly field determines which research is acceptable, sound, and valid, and which is not.
What it is that researchers hope to answer through their research. Good researchers refer back to the objectives every step of the way and insure that everything they are doing answers these objectives. Usually, there are one main objective and several related secondary objectives.
What's the Purpose of a Literature Review?
To read published articles reporting on primary research. Some of those articles include a literature review section, which is secondary research. All things are into one, synthesized and how they coordinate together.
What Is a Literature Review?
Research that has been previously collected or conducted. It is a summary of all research related to your topic= synthesizing research or a body of work. it includes basic understanding of what research is about, the goals, and the outcomes.
Annotated Bibliography versus Synthesis of the Literature
a. Annotated: A list of separate summaries of various sources.
b. Synthesis: take the time to thoroughly read and understand what the research claims and does.
How to Avoid Plagiarism
a. Give proper credit to your sources!
b. paraphrase sufficiently so that you're not plagiarizing. (restate)
Why Do We Care about Human Subjects Protection? What is the organization that does this at a university?
Ethical research rules that refer to the guidelines that are followed to ensure the protection of people (participants) being studied.
Institutional Research Boards is the organization that ensures you are following the guidelines.
Respect for persons
Research participants should be treated as autonomous agents- that means they are independent, self- governing, and capable of making decisions for themselves as long as they are given sufficient information to make those decisions.
This process assumes that the research participant is competent to consent-that, if he or she is given all relevant information, he or she will be able to comprehend the information and be able to agree to participate in a voluntary manner free from coercion.
What are the various studies that led to ethics guidelines?
Nazi studies (example from class "Ex: how cold does the body have to be to freeze")
o Nuremberg code after world war two to prevent such a travesty to happen ever again
o Belmont report came about from US experiments in 1979 which tested on African Americans
No one, including the researcher, can connect a participant's responses with his or her identity. Cannot connect response to identity. If you know you will be anonymous then you are more willing to do certain things. No one knows- not even the researchers.
Document serves as the cornerstone of ethical principles upon which federal regulations for the protection of human research participants are based. Testing was done on African Americans.
The outcome of research should be positive and beneficial
The identity of participants is kept secret when researchers report or write up their findings
A violation of the right to informed consent that may sometimes mislead participants as to the study purpose. Extreme use (dehoaxing, debriefing, and desensitizing them). You cannot tell theme everything about the study because you need an honest response.
Research that is designed and conducted validly, reliably, legitimately, and representatively, and protects a research participant's right
All classifications of people (race, ethnicity, gender, age, etc.) should be equally subjected to the risks and benefits of research, and people should be included or excluded only for reasons that have to do with the research question or hypothesis.
No harm should be done to participants
Persons with diminished autonomy; specifically children, people with cognitive impairments, older adults, people with severe health problems, employees, and students.
Relationship between theory and research
Primary function of research questions, hypothesis, & theory is heuristic, allowing us to generate new knowledge, learning, and understanding
o They start with a hypothesis and do your research to claim a theory...also known as a theoretical framework
o Research question starts with a theory
o Allows us to explain, predict or control
o They function "heuristically" because they assist us in generating new knowledge
o Theory is only extended or tested when using the inductive model, which looks for a deeper understanding
o Theories begin with a question or "fact pattern": A communication pattern that acknowledges another person's presence and indicates an acceptance of this person, this person's self-definition, and the relationship is defined or viewed by this other person. Opposed to rejection and disconfirmation (flashcardmachine.com)
What Are Research Objectives?
a. represent the reasons you give for undertaking your own research project
b. statements of what you want to get out of this research
i. "I am studying __ because I want to find out [who/what/when/whether/how] ___is, in order to understand ___."
c. Research objectives frequently turn into RQ or hypotheses
How Do You Ask Research Questions? (w characteristics)
o Questions we ask about the way things work
o Open-ended questions
o Who, what, when, where and how
- Who is impacted by...
- What does this communication act look like?
- When does it occur
- Where does it occur
- How does it relate to other things?
What Are Research Hypotheses? (w characteristics)
A statement a researcher makes about the relationship between a dependent and an independent variable.
- An educated guess
o Based on knowledge or scholarship
o Open ended questions: who, what, when, where?
What are Null Hypotheses?
A statement that the research hypothesis is wrong. There is no (null) relationship between the variables that the research predicted
What Are the Boundaries of Research Questions and Hypotheses?
a. Time, people, place, and situations could all be boundaries you place upon Research Question and Hypothesis.
b. "What are the limits on your research question?"
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