Theoretical Issues - Intro to Quantitative


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  • What did you find? What did they study? Did the articles give you an idea for new research questions, ideas, or direction?
  • Review lengthTimely review2-3 readers review it. Only 5% accepted with minor revisions… And 5% editor rejected. Referees are often picked because of methodological experience and references. Asked to review for friends. Public Opinion Quarterly 50% of the RRs are rejected.If you see a lot of pages…. Don’t get down… most often there is a relationship between length and promise of manuscript.
  • Journal of Radio & Audio MediaCritical Studies in Media CommunicationAssign one journal to each student and tell me what trends you see. Ask for acceptance rate249 submitted to MCS
  • Most frequently cited journals in a field of communication. JIF published yearly by Institute for Scientific Info. Garfield (20060 20% of the articles makeup 80% of the citationsMore schools may be relying on the impact factor of a journal. Citation and article counts are indicators of how frequently researchers are using individual journals.Research shows impact factors do not vary much over time.Other disciplines have higher ratings because of the lower number of journals in the field and lower number of scholars compared to psychology, so the size of the field affects size of factor according to Feeley and Moon (2011)Annual JIFFive-year JIF five previous years are cited dived the number of citable articles in a year
  • Atwater – communication standing as a field social sciencesCommunication scholarship borrowed heavily from sociology, psychology, and political science to buid frameworks… very interdisciplinary fieldDo not require research, research methods,
  • Both are concerned about reality. Reality cannot exist without context, and how can you say it is reality without determining the specific cause. Change is incremental…. Yet what are critical school contributing? Critical is much broader and contextual and empirical is narrow.To understand how to control people vs the freeing of people. Encourages the weakening of individuals to corporations while critical is concerned with emanicipating individuals. Put too much emphasis on commuinication while ignoring context However, bias entering research and using data to confirm their biases. Disconnect exists – not likely to work at the same programs. Empirical school is larger than the critical. So many journals makes it difficult to master any subject area but your own.
  • Structural functionalism, or simply functionalism, is a framework for building theory that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability.[Collective behavior scientists are interested in how social units evolve to act as a collective.
  • Leaning more quant or qual? Turnbull:Qual focuses on developing theory from data. How social experience is created and given meaning… observers of behavior. Authencity… social constructivist, ethnography-observing participants and communities… (journalism). Participant observation, case study, interviewing, People believe that observing people in their natural environment is more accurateEthnography Direct observation that leads to thick description of people & culture.Ethnomethodology Ethnomethodologist do not simply record behavior, but the have to make sense of it. Convict code
  • Died in 2006 at 71. His own most influential idea was the "ritual theory" of communications, a departure from the traditional "transmission theory,"he transmission model comes from the traditional social-scientific Sender- Message- Channel- Receiver or S-M-C-R approach whereas the ritual model comes from the social constructionist paradigm. Society not only exists by transmission, by communicationRitual Model of Communication — communication is a symbolic process whereby reality is produced, maintained, repaired, and transformed.To study communication is to examine the actual social process wherein significant symbolic forms are created, apprehended, and used. “sharing,” “participation,” “association,” “fellowship,” “possession of common faith,” “communion,” and “community.”TRANSMISSION View of Communication–is the idea that transmission of signals or messages over distance for the purpose of control; characterized by the desire to increase the speed and effect of messages as they travel in space. defined by terms such as “imparting,” “sending,” “transmitting,” “giving information to others” –ex: traditional classroom. Communication is a process whereby messages are transmitted and distributed in space for distance and people. we devalue process in favor of product
  • Quantification is the only goal… if you can quanitfy, it is not science.. Empirical "facts" are not proof of fundamental truth but proof of a mode of observation, which is methodology, which is hypothetically value-free. Intterpretation does not reflect observations. Modes of observations are methods. Don’t lead to generalizations of behavior, rather focuses on sample on given point in time, which means knowledge is not abstract. Generalizations are knowledge… replicable knowledge. Something we know. Beyond descriptive.
  • Precision paradox, Most science is concerned with predicition. Two distinct goals of science predication and understanding. In order to predict, you have to exclude certain phenomena to precisely identify that is the cause. Over-simplication is necessary. It is knowledge about the interaction of unites in a system. Little analysis is on the analysis of the processes that produce that outcomes being studied. Versus a model focus on outcomes. Understanding why certain events have taken place. Gives rise to paradoxes. The precision paradox: Why can we achieve precision in prediction without any knowledge of how the predicted outcome was produced.Power paradox: Why can we achieve powerful understanding of social behavior without immersing ourselves in certain situations.
  • Burelson– Need to take communication more seriously and treat it more broadly. How do we decide what is knowledge? How do we decide what is knowledge in this field? Assume communication, rather than problematize communicationWhat is communication? How do people interpret words? How are messages produced? How are they comprehended? Communication focuses on messages? How they are sent? Understanding the communication phenomena. We don’t engage in philosophical conversations? Philosophy of science/social sciences…philosophies should be used in theory development. Critical lens does not exist because publish for each other. How’s people self-esteem changes as they grow older is psychology; however how self-esteem affects communication apprehension (such as public speaking) is a communication problem.
  • DeFleur
  • Melvin DeFleur has argued that few mass communication scientists have made significant theoretical contributions since the 1980s.Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Communication, and Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic MediaPotter – 16 journals during odd years from 1993 – 2005Third-person effect, agenda, ug were the three most commonly mentioned.
  • Sex is the substitute for female. Measured version of the concept, however not every concept is a variable. Female and magazine reading. Females read , it cannot be called a hypothesis because only the latter varies. HAny concept that can have two or more values. A variable is a property of a thing that may be present in degree. A variable has attributes. Attribute vs variable
  • How do they vary in observations? A variable that can be directly measured or observed. It is the opposite of a latent variable, which can not be directly observed. Manifest variables are used in latent variable statistical models,Latent variables are unobserved variables that are measured by multiple observed items, also called manifest variables. For instance, to examine substance use onset as a latent variable, multiple observed items measuring behaviors such as alcohol use, cigarettes use, marijuana use, etc. may be used as indicators or manifest variables.
  • Create a construct made up of directly observation measures. The human is an instrument of observation.
  • If an increaseint this, there will be a decrease in this – associationalCausal In need of empirical evidence.No support – hypotheses, some support – empirical generalizations, overwhelming support- lawsAxiomatic can combined to produce new statements or propostiion scope conditions of theory
  • IV causes changes in DV
  • Many fear posing hypotheses because What is the nature of communication behavior X? What are the types of interpersonal rituals reported in friendships? What does the supervisor communication occurs during the dismissal process?
  • Liking cause disclosure or does disclosure liking…
  • Clarify the domains within which the theory is expected to hold up and apply. Theories should be as simple as possible while still explaining phenenoma accurately. Logical simplicity. Not all theories testable
  • Identify a question that you would be think would be interesting. After you have come up with a question, identify how you might collect data (e.g., survey, interview, content analysis, experiment, ) and think about how you might recruit participants for your study.
  • Share them with your neighbor, have your neighbor contribute. Think communication. Human behavior.
  • Remember to think in terms of concepts or variables. Ask you’re a new person to contribute ideas.
  • Theoretical Issues - Intro to Quantitative

    1. 1. Theoretical IssuesBy Serena Carpenter
    2. 2. Assignment• Targeting journals: List at least four journals youshould follow to keep up with your potentialtopic.• Choose one journal and summarize trendsamong articles and the journal such as:• the types of research found in the journal,• background of editorial board• manuscript instructions
    3. 3. Peer-reviewed• Double-blind• 2-4 reviews
    4. 4. Manuscript review processIf revisions, re-reviewAcceptance & Publication RejectDecisionMajor Revisions Minor Revisions RejectAssignment and ReviewSubmit manuscriptConfirm acceptanceCompletion of research & manuscript
    5. 5. Acceptance rates• 15% or less• JQ, JOB, JOC, JCMC, HCR, NMS, CSMC• MCS (15.9% ’10 to 18.3% ’11)• 20% or higher• NRJ (30-40%)• Journalism (30%)• Journalism Practice (30%-40%)• Journalism Educator (30%)• JRAM (30%)• Journalism History (25%)• These may not be the most current figures.
    6. 6. Impact factor• J Comp-Mediated Communication 2.7• J of Communication 2.4• Human Comm Research 1.8• J of Health Comm 1.6• Media Pysch, J of Adv Research & New Media & Society 1.4• J of Advertising .99• J of Broadcasting .89• MCS .82• JQ & Journalism Studies .54•• Create citation alerts and access citation reports
    7. 7. 1. Communicating relevance• Youth of field• Establish validity and salience to outside fields• Nonacademic fields
    8. 8. • How? How much?• Media effects• U.S.• Testable• Predict• Why? Why not?• Controls communicationsystem?• Europe• Understand2. Critical vs. empirical school
    9. 9. Functionalism• Social change versus social control theorists
    10. 10. 3. Qual vs Quant• Reliability, validity,generalizability• Directing attention,organizingexperiences,authenticity
    11. 11. Two Models of CommunicationTransmission Model• Transportation• Sender & Receiver• Sent & Received• Receiver gets it(sense oftransmission)• InfluenceRitual• Ceremony• Participants• Created & Recreated• Shared experience(sense ofcommunity)• Communicationacross time
    12. 12. Positivism vs. interpretivism• Truth claims based on only direct observationand quantification• Meaningful only if they can be empiricallyverified
    13. 13. Exercise• What is the state of the debate between positivist andinterpretivism research philosophies?• Search Sociological Abstracts for articles that used theseterms. Based on the abstracts, list points that are media insupport and opposition to both perspectives.
    14. 14. Primary Research• Google Scholar•• Topic search engines•• PsychINFO, MEDLINE, Comm & Mass Media Complete• Research journal title•• eBooks•• Illiad•
    15. 15. Goals of scienceUnderstanding PredictionInteractionXOutcomesX
    16. 16. 4. Not focused on communication• Focused on content and effects• Dance• “Emphasis is on that which is made common (sharedmeanings, cultural symbols, traditions, common ground,understanding) or on the process of making things common(the transmission of message from place to place; thelanguages in which things are framed; the patterns of action inwhich they occur; the things that people actually do and sayto each other.” -Frey, Botan, & Kreps (2000) p.27
    17. 17. 5. Lack of theoretical progress• Increasing attention paid to qualitative andcritical research,• Focus on teaching of skills rather than research,• Use of part-time instructors increasing facultyworkload,• Decrease in funding of research,• Decrease in number of social scientists fromother fields,• Intellectual divides,• Focus on prediction rather than explanation
    18. 18. • Bryant & Miron (2004)• Merely referenced (45%),• Using it as a framework (23%),• Constructing it (18%),• Critiquing it (14%)• Potter and Riddle (2007)• Not guided by theory (65%)Weak theoretical contributions
    19. 19. • Females read a large number of magazines eachmonth.Variable
    20. 20. • Females read more magazines than males do.Variable
    21. 21. Examples• Variable Name Levels (values)• Gender Male or Female• Test Scores # correct• Room Temp. Hot, Warm, Cold• Room Temp. Degrees Farenheit
    22. 22. Manifest vs. latent variables• Extreme positivists believe that only in manifestvariables.
    23. 23. • Psychological tension• Online loyalty• News quality• Social support• Intelligence• Social media use• Communication apprehension• Source credibility• Prejudice• Religiousity• Disclosure• Political participationExample concepts
    24. 24. • Test the theory or conceptual relationship• Contains variables• “The predictions about the values of the units ofa theory in which empirical indicators areemployed for the named units in eachproposition.” Dubin, 1978Hypotheses
    25. 25. IV and DV• Causal relationship
    26. 26. • New areas of research where little is knownabout the relationship among variables• Relational statementResearch Question
    27. 27. Relationships BetweenVariables• Is gender related to happiness?• Do males and females differ in theirhappiness?• Is distraction while studying related to examperformance?• Do people perform better when they are notdistracted than when distracted?
    28. 28. Relationships BetweenQuantitative Variables• Positive• Negative• Curvilinear• Neutral
    29. 29. Positive relationships• Increases in the values of one variable areassociated with increases in the second variable• Increasing study time is associated with highergrades
    30. 30. Negative relationships• Increases in the values of one variable areassociated with decreases in the second variable• Increasing hours of work are associated withlower grades
    31. 31. Curvilinear Relationships• Increases in the values of one variable areassociated with both increases and decreases ofthe second variable• Anxiety can help increase performance until itgets to high – then it decreases performance
    32. 32. PERFORMANCELow Moderate HighANXIETYLowHigh
    33. 33. Are the Following Relationships Positiveor Negative?• GPA and alcohol consumption• # of sexual partners and # of STDs• # hrs TV viewed and # hrs studying
    34. 34. • Parsimony vs. Completeness• Number of concepts and the interrconnectionsamong them• Rigor, exactness, logical consistency• LimitationsDetermine boundaries
    35. 35. Situations Your Questions Methods of DataCollectionHow would yourecruit a sampleof participants?Communicationwith parents orgrandparentsCommunicationwith an employerCommunication onthe internet (e.g.,email, FB, Twitter)Communicationwith romanticpartnerCommunicationwith professorCommunicationwith friends orroommates
    36. 36. Identify concepts that couldrelate to your research idea orkeywords list (from last week).
    37. 37. Write several researchquestions or hypotheses thatrelate to your project ideas.
    38. 38. List some major topics thatrelate to your researchquestions or hypotheses.
    39. 39. What questions have beenanswered related to yourproject idea? What remainsunanswered?
    40. 40. Next Week• Concept explication• Have a list of concepts that interest you• Think about definitions• Assignment: IRB training form due• Proposal Prospectus Due Sept. 20th• Three- to five-page paper describing thetheory you are interested in exploring for thisclass.