Theorybuilding f13


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  • The goal of sciences to test and produce theories. PhD candidates are required to frame your subject matter theoretically and fill in the gaps,
  • 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.
  • Controversial reasons cited for the lack of development in theory include: Fewer tenure track jobs
  • Assumptions about what you know…. It your responsibility
  • So if science is theory… and most of research is atheoretical… that is a problem. Scientific progress involves the correction and improvement of theory’s predictions… The ability to generalize beyond a sample… Small and big theories…. Theories reflect what we know, however most theories are not directly observable. Social science deals with the behavior and institutions of human beingsDreams, physical beliefs, religion, etc. to inspire hypotheses. How scientific knowledge comes about is irrelevant…. but scientific method to test it. Discovery process vs verification… The goal of science, many say, to create research that is generalizable to populations, not just samples. That is why the method is so important. Scientific methods is how we systemize observations and become more precise in our observations and under what conditions. There are rules… rules on how to proceed. However, these rules affect knowledge. Kuhn was concerned about how socialization and rules influenced our scientific understanding. Learning how we know what we know. What is knowledge. What is considered knowledge and what it.
  • Science is cumulative. Normal science dictates what is an experiment.. What is counted as data. The success of normal science requires disciplining scientists. So unit of scientific thought is the paradigm, rather than theory. To build theory, you have to work within this paradigm. Doctoral education is about socialization, learn through conducting research and scientists saying what is right and what is wrong. It is difficult to discover the rules of normal science. My job is to transfer unwritten rules. Textbooks are pedagogic vehicles for perpetuations of normal science. Must satisfy select individuals but must be socially accepted by the community. Revolutionary ideas are most likely to be posed by people outside the field. However, older scientists are better positioned to take chances. Louis Pasteur’s germ theory was originally dismissed because he was not a medical specialist.AIDS research in 80s was originally referred to as “immune overload” or “antigen overload” Link between excesses of homosexual lifestyle and breakdown of immune system. Illness was connected to promiscuity. CDC task form 8 percent of the 159 cases were heterosexuals and there was one woman. However, the definition excluded women. Shyh-Ching Lo discovered a new virus related to AIDs. The implication was another virus may have a causal relationship with AIDs. However, he could not get published for 3 years and he could not get published. It was dismissed until a more prominent scientist in 1990.
  • 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.
  • 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 - how something works. 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.
  • Typically starts in deductive manner … reviews of existing literature…. And then typically testing takes place… and then you share with theory is refined, supported or disconfirmed. My concern of doctoral training that emphasizes specialization without understanding alternative ways of know, theory building and history of communication scienceResearch stream
  • Inductive – Observations lead to generatlizations…. However, positivists argue that it is not meaningful it says nothing about the past, present and future… and it needs to be measured. And if you cant falsify.. it is not scientific knowledge. Research questions guide researcher and lets the knowledge emerge from the data…. However, this is not science. High quality research starts by observations… White swans… all swans are white, but then they saw black ones in Australia. Deductively –Writer start with theory – confirm and “challenge” theory. In quantitative, this why you should start with preexisting theory because the goal is to advance theory. Research begins with a theory, which is a general explanation for the relationship between two or more concepts, and seeks to gather information to determine if theory is accurate. Often people start with a topic rather than a theoretical questionTheory testing, you typically take an existing theory and test it. Theory building to engage in the actual testing of theory through a research plan.As cited by Lynhan 2002
  • ReynoldsIndependent of time and location. Independent of history. Each location would have a unique set of knowledge. Would not be efficient. If it is not abstract, it is not applicable to the future. Are you studying it in a way that the knowledge is useful beyond that environment and period of time. Comment forums… Recording content… are you trying to understand roles… what is related to behavior. Social sciences Perceiving an event. And explaining why. What caused the event.If it is not testable, then it is philosophy. In science, we should focus only on testable theories. Test is under different conditions, then it is not scientific knowledgeAgreement about meaning among relevant scientists. Otherwise we can not build. There is agreement about the concept. This is called logical rigor. Falsfication is only possible if there is intersubjective agreement among scientists concerning what is being tested. Mass… how are we defining mass.
  • 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 precisionThe 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
  • Step 1 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.
  • Create a construct made up of directly observation measures. The human is an instrument of observation.
  • 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
  • Chaffee
  • 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. HA variable is a property of a thing that may be present in degree. A variable has attributes. Attribute vs variable
  • Is the extent to which the indicators are measuring the concept we think we are measuring. Focuses both at the conceptual and operational level. Internal refers to what is done, found, and inferred in a single study. Has each concept been operationalized in a way that is reliable? Has the hypotheses been tested so that alternative explanations for findings have been ruled out?External – generalizability of a particular study to other settings, times and units of study. I
  • Most stats which include correlations and regression coefficients look at first whether there is a relationship.
  • covariance is a measure of how much two variables change togetherDubin – 1st two are the lowest levels and are often applied in social sciences and are accepted as scientific precisionNeed to lay down a set of necessary conditions and applicability for the theory and terms. Essentially you are talking about the usefulness of the theory
  • Propostion – refers to relationships between conceptsTheory builders wSource 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. 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. Violence in primetime drama
  • 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
  • Validity refers to the relationship between conceptual and operational definition. Reliability has to do operational definitions. Did you listen to news on the radio yesterday? Pretty reliable. Generalizability of experimental findings tends to be done by experiment across groups. Independent of a particular observer and his idiosyncratic relationship to measuring the apparatus Replications are second-class citizens because you are not contributing to new knowledge. But you are contributing theory. If you know how to defend, you can get it published. Exact vs partial replication Task – material circumstances in which study was conducted. Color, margins, Subjects- method of coercion perhaps affected resultsSubject characteristics – variations in age, sex socioeconomic factors may vary from study to Data- differing modeas can lead to different conclusions
  • Making an explicit connection between the conceptual phase and practice. It is a way of confirming.
  • Sex – MFFemininity vs masculinity You can always convert continous into discrete. Presence or abscense
  • Operational measurement of a construct that is linked to theoryMeasured items are high correlated and invent an abstract construct. A way of finding a set of attributes which will maximize the correlations among itemsSome say .30 or .32
  • Individuals, newspaper, comments,
  • 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
  • Many fear posing hypotheses because
  • Most research is designed to provide evidence for only a few statements. No single study will provide enough empirical evidence.
  • I would recommend taking classes in rather than… because eventually you will become an expert in your topical area, but what is more important is the lens that you apply when interpreting that material. Conceptual similiarities, historical perspectives, etc.  What is knowledge? How do we know what we know? And what is knowledge. What do we claim as knowledge.Epistemology-the study of nature, extent and justification of knowledgeWhat is your dependent variable?This question is essentially asking what do you want to explain and predict. He says to think about the DV is to think about theory.Who is your research community?Theory building is an effort of a community of scholars focused on the same “problem.” No one person can build theory. To connect and build theory with scholars interested in your DV, you should strive to publish work in their preferred journals.
  • Theorybuilding f13

    1. 1. By Dr. Serena Carpenter
    2. 2.  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%)
    3. 3.        Increasing attention paid to qualitative and critical research, Focus on teaching of skills rather than research, Use of part-time instructors increasing faculty workload, Decrease in funding of research, Decrease in number of social scientists from other fields, Intellectual divides, Focus on prediction rather than explanation
    4. 4.      What What What What What is is is is is a concept? a hypothesis? theory? a model? science?
    5. 5.  “Scientific knowledge is a collection of abstract theoretical statements.” – Reynolds, 1971  The origin of hypotheses is irrelevant  Test beliefs through the scientific method ◦ Test under various conditions
    6. 6.  Shared assumptions ◦ Knowledge must be endorsed by community ◦ Young scientists learn through application, not explicit teachings ◦ Young scientists and outsiders struggle to challenge status quo  Training, education, apprenticeship ◦ Commit to rules and standards of scientific practice
    7. 7.    “Description of concepts and specification of the relationships between or among these concepts.” -Baldwin, Perry, & Mofffitt – 2004 “Sets of hypotheses, which are tested by logically deriving observable consequences from them.” –Rosenberg – 2001 “’Good theory’ refers to theory of a kind that produces valid scientific knowledge (understanding, prediction). – Miner, 2003
    8. 8.     Describe Explain Predict Control
    9. 9.   The process or cycle by which a description or explanation of a phenomena are generated, tested, and refined (Gioloa & Pitre, p.587) “Ongoing process of producing, confirming applying, and adapting theory” (Lynham, 2000)
    10. 10.  Inductive (research-then-theory) ◦ Numerous observations of X under a variety of conditions ◦ Construct development ◦ Theory building  Deductive (theory-then-research) theory building ◦ Precision ◦ Theory testing
    11. 11.    Abstractness Empirical relevance Intersubjectivity
    12. 12.   Scientific terms have fixed and precise meanings To understand a concept, we must understand: ◦ Comparative concepts ◦ Context ◦ Schools of thought
    13. 13.   Abstraction that describes reality through observations Disciplined use of words encourages other scholars to employ same terminology ◦ Meaning analysis/literature review  Concepts defined by reading previous studies  Variations in term names  Obscenity, pornography, erotica
    14. 14.        Psychological tension Online loyalty News quality Social support Intelligence Social media use Self-efficacy
    15. 15.  Findings from past studies are compared with abstract terms of a general theory  Continuous refinement and development  Paradox of conceptualization  Proper concepts are needed to formulate a good theory, but we need a good theory to arrive at proper concepts.
    16. 16.     What are the different conceptual meanings assigned to this term? What are the different operational definitions that have been used? What are the usual names for these operational definitions? Are different names needed to make differences in meaning clear? What, considering the intended research purpose, seem to be the most promising definitions of the concept?
    17. 17.  Females read a large number of magazines each month.
    18. 18.  Females read more magazines than males do.
    19. 19.  Internal ◦ Degree to which the terms of theory are consistent with researcher’s observations  External ◦ Degree to which theory’s claims are supported by other theories in the same domain
    20. 20.   Causal variable - IV Criterion variable - DV Source Message Effects
    21. 21.  Establish laws of interaction that govern the theory ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Presence/absence Directionality Covary Rate of change
    22. 22.  Parsimony vs. Completeness ◦ Number of concepts and the interrconnections among them   Rigor, exactness, logical consistency Limitations
    23. 23.   Replicability of a results across a series of observations or studies = empirical generalization Areas of replication ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Physical settings of research Specific task variables Subjects Subject characteristics Historical context Modes of data analysis
    24. 24.  Developing rules for inclusion and exclusion
    25. 25.  Continuous are more valuable than discrete
    26. 26.   Operational level technique of conceptualization Factor analysis
    27. 27.  For what class of entities does this concept vary?
    28. 28.   Test the theory “The predictions about the values of the units of a theory in which empirical indicators are employed for the named units in each proposition.” Dubin, 1978
    29. 29.  New areas of research where little is known about the relationship among variables ◦ Relational statement
    30. 30.  Willing to modify and suggest to people how to improve your research
    31. 31.        Philosophy of science Theory and theory building History of communication science Quantitative methods Statistics Build relationships Absorb knowledge