The goal of sciences to test and produce theories. PhD candidates are required to frame your subject matter theoretically and fill in the gaps,
Science literacy…. Often you are not taught explicitly what these items are, however they are often assumed that you know them Assumptions about what you know…. It your responsibility
Scientific progress involves the correction and improvement of theory’s predictions… Theories reflect what we know, however most theories are not directly observable. Social science deals with the behavior and institutions of human beings
Theory reflects the recorded effort of scientists trying to predict and explain human behavior. We as social science researchers cannot directly observe all phenomena. To overcome this obstacle, we create concepts to build and test theory.Observations can be seen as confirming or falsifying hypotheses. Communication theory refers to a body of theories that makes up our understanding of the communication process.
Propostion – refers to relationships between conceptsSource expertise influences credibility perceptions – degree type is related to liking of content
A hypothesis is a test of a larger proposition. Theory at the operational level are hypotheses. Predicated relationships between operational definitions are called hypotheses. Major purpose of theorizing is to foster hypothesis testing. If replicated, theory becomes fact or reality as Reynolds indicates. Our goal is knowledge. What is meant by operational level? Conceptual fit: Arrows run up and down because – over time – that how explication works. More often people think downward toward the operational definition. After research is conducted, the scholar may rethink the conceptual meaning in light of new findings. Research is not production of a single study. However, poor conceptual fit seriously jeopardizes the theoretical and practical researchViolence in primetime drama
Describe what happens in a given context. Explain/Understand – Explains why things happen. Explain why some messages work better than others in political campaigns. Process knowledge usually increases what it means and how something works. To make sense of, understand and interpret Predict – Scientific part – an increase in this leads to a decrease in this, Sometimes referred to as outcome knowledge. Control –Need to understand how to produce a phenomenon by setting up the conditions that account for it.
I am looking for variables… these are terms that are constructed. Not every day language. The words that represent what we cannot observe. Since they are made up, we have to agree. Mutual agreement… that is why a lit review is important. Concepts are constructs. We construct them… compassion, prejudice.How we direct our observations and analyses in research…. Units of thinking. Television violence. Concepts are supposed to be abstract and operationalizations are specificsScientific concepts differ from everyday concepts
Language is not neutral. When it is interpreted, it loses meaning. This is why it so important to define them… because as history passes we lose precision. What are some terms that you have seen? The ability to learn the language does not mean you can translate it. Translation is done by a person who knows two languages. Interpreter command only one language. The interpreter must describe a term by comparing it to today, however language is rooted in the context of the past. Must use terms as prodecessors did. Terms must translated by relating them to other terms. Guinea pig. There can be no perfect translations. Historically, it may be difficult to explain why older theories were successful. To understand an individual, you must understand their teacher
Concepts are vehicles for conveying complex ideas and for making sense. Defined concepts are used so that other research can replicate and extend research findings. Different meanings or not defining concepts has led Building blocks of theories. Media use is a construct. Concept is never true or false. Theories are. A concept is only significant when it occurs in relationship together with others. Concepts only have meaning because scientists assign meaning to it. Concept and theory formations in science go hand and handScientific knowledge is impossible unless there is agreement about the meaning of the concept. Thus, this is why they are so important and your conceptual definition is an argument rooted in research.
Explication: the act of making clear the meaning of a word or symbol or expression etc..Concept explication involves more than simply looking up a term in a dictionary or traces to ites early uses. For research, we need to study the ways other researchers have been using the concept-why they mean by it and how it is represented in their studies. A concept is likely to be rich in meaning. You will be spend a great of time refining concepts. The better the concepts, the better the theory
How do you identify the concepts? Keywords. What are the different labels that have been usedFrom the boundaries, we understand the boundaries of the definitionOperational definition should include: the conditions of observation, details of the instrument, manipulation procedures, statistical operations Moving from the abstract to the concrete empirical level
Religiousity – attending religious servicesReligiousity – belief dimension, ritual dimension, knowledge dimension,Fear of crime – beliefs about incidents of crimes, estimates of likelihood of falling victim to each crime locally, perceptions of community cohension
Making an explicit connection between the conceptual phase and practice. It is a way of confirming. This process is called measurement. Conceptualization is the linking of the conceptual and empirical worlds… Age and level of education need little explication
Individuals, newspaper, comments,
You need to have variation… Abstractional level termsHigh ConceptIntermediate DimensionsLow Indicators You can see that abstract concept is becoming les abstract Television news viewing is found to be related to knowledge of public affiairs and politics
Use of multiple methods to study the same phenomenaD-Number of data sources are usedR-Multiple researchers are used to collect and analyze dataT-Involves multiple theories and/or perspectives to interpret the same data
Concept Explication - Theoretical Issues - Intro to Quantitative
What is a concept? What is concept explication? What is a hypothesis? What is theory? What is science?
“Scientific knowledge is a collection ofabstract theoretical statements.”– Reynolds, 1971 Test beliefs through the scientific method◦ Test under various conditions
“Sets of hypotheses, which are tested bylogically deriving observable consequencesfrom them.” –Rosenberg – 2001 “Description of concepts and specification ofthe relationships between or among theseconcepts.” -Baldwin, Perry, & Mofffitt – 2004 “’Good theory’ refers to theory of a kind thatproduces valid scientific knowledge(understanding, prediction). – Miner, 2003
The process of coming to an agreementabout what terms mean.“Clear thinking requires clear language. In turn, a clearlanguage requires that its terms be explicitly defined.” –Giovanni Sartori (1984, p.22)
Scientific terms have fixed and precisemeanings To understand a concept, we mustunderstand:◦ Comparative concepts◦ Context◦ Schools of thought
Abstraction that describes reality throughobservations Disciplined use of words encourages otherscholars to employ same terminology◦ Meaning analysis/literature review Concepts defined by reading previous studies Variations in term names Obscenity, pornography, erotica
What are the different conceptual meanings assigned tothis term? What are the different operational definitions that havebeen used? What are the usual names for these operationaldefinitions? Are different names needed to makedifferences in meaning clear? What, considering the intended research purpose, seemto be the most promising definitions of the concept?
Involves both logical and empiricalprocedures, which is meaning and empiricalanalysis Continuous refinement and development of aconcept Paradox of conceptualization Proper concepts are needed to formulate a goodtheory, but we need a good theory to arrive at properconcepts.
Identify concepts Search the literature Examine empirical properties Select or develop a tentative conceptualdefinition Define it operationally Data gathering
Observation that we chose to consider as areflection of a variable Specifiable aspect of a concept
Developing rules for inclusion and exclusion
For what class of entities does this conceptvary?
TelevisionviewingNewsNational Local A.M.EntertainmentSoap operas Crime, detective
Studying something in multiple ways within asingle study Methodological Data Researcher Theoretical
List at least 10 variables that will bemeasured in your research. No more than twocan be sociodemographic indicators like raceor age. The inclusion of each variable shouldbe justified by theory or prior research.
Write a conceptual definition for eachvariable. Whenever possible, this definitionshould come from existing literature.