1. building blocks of theory:
    • -nontology
    • -epistemology
    • -purposes of theory
    • -focus of theorizing.
  2. basic tenets of three approaches to research:
    • -quantitative
    • -qualitative
    • -critical.
  3. Ontology:
    views of human nature
  4. factors on ontology
    • -Determinism:
    • human behavior is governed by forces beyond our control – usually the forces of biology and environment.

    -Free will: we make choices about how we act within certain constraints.
  5. Epistemology:
    ways of knowing

    • -Creating meaning
    • -There are multiple views of reality.
    • -Standpoint affects how we interpret and understand.
  6. Purposes of theory:
    universal laws vs. situated rules

    • Universal laws
    • -Holds true across time and space.
    • -Good for physics and natural sciences, not so good for communication.

    • Situated rules
    • -Rules that guide how we act in certain situations.
    • -Generally fits views of free will rather than determinism.
  7. Focus of theorizing:
    • behavior
    • -Only what we can see or observe
    • -Meanings, motives, and intentions, even if they exist, aren’t measurable and are outside the realm of science.

    • meaning
    • -Behavior is useless unless we can
    • attribute meaning.

    • emancipation
    • -Critique of power
    • -Goal of reform
  8. Quantitative research
    -The gathering of information that can be quantified and interpreted through statistical analysis.

    -Descriptive statistics, surveys, and experiments are common.
  9. Qualitative research
    • -About understanding more than measuring.
    • -Goal is to interpret meanings and other unobservable dimensions.
    • -Textual analysis and ethnography are common.
  10. Critical analysis
    • -Difference is in goal: critiquing communication practices that oppress, marginalize, or
    • otherwise harm people.
  11. Hypotheses:
    testable predictions about relationships between communication phenomena.
  12. Research questions:
    specify the phenomena of interest but do not predict relationships.
  13. Operational definition:
    precise descriptions that specify how to observe the phenomena of interest.
  14. Hypotheses questions
    • -Use a hypothesis if you have a reason to think you know the nature of the
    • relationship.
    • -The theory you are working with or developing may help you predict the
    • relationship.
  15. research questions
    • -Use a research question if you do not.
    • -If the theory is not well tested or you are extending it, there may be no basis
    • for a prediction.
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