Social Science Foundations for Social Media Metrics
Jeremy Harris Lipschultz
UNO Social Media Lab
08/29/14 Lecture Notes 1
Do the data make
08/29/14 Lecture Notes 2
McQuail (1994) says the phrase coined
at the end of the 1930s "still has no
Severin and Tankard (1992), treat mass
communication as "part skill, part art,
and part science."
Mass communication research is the use
of research methods to study the flow of
information, entertainment, and opinion
08/29/14 Lecture Notes 3
The Mass Communication
Step 1: Problem & Purpose
Step 2: Literature Review
Step 3: Research Questions
Step 4: Methodology and
08/29/14 Lecture Notes 4
A variable is how we observe and
measure a concept.
A more precise way to measure,
for example the media use
concept, would be to create a
variable that identifies a specific
use of the mass media.
08/29/14 Lecture Notes 9
Nominal measurement is the weakest of
the four levels. It is a simple
Ordinal measurement refers to ranking.
Both interval and ratio measurement
consist of ordinal measurement with
equal intervals between scale points.
Ratio measurement has a true zero
08/29/14 Lecture Notes 10
All data have error.
08/29/14 Lecture Notes 11
Reliability is a measure of
Assuming that we have
established reliability, the more
difficult question is whether the
measurement has validity.
In other words, has the variable
measured what it is supposed to
08/29/14 Lecture Notes 12