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Research Methods CH1

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Research Methods CH1

  1. 1. CHAPTER 1 Introduction to Communication Research
  2. 2. What is research? <ul><li>Process of asking questions and finding answers. </li></ul><ul><li>Application of scientific and systematic procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Assumes that patterns can be uncovered </li></ul><ul><li>Empirically based methods </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why conduct Communication Research? <ul><li>Activity that all humans share </li></ul><ul><li>Deepen our understanding of human behavior and motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Uncover patterns of behavior to increase predictability </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance quality of personal and professional environments and relationships </li></ul>
  4. 4. Research and You <ul><li>Scholarly Research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You in the role of researcher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You in the role of research consumer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Can be commissioned for private use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Role of consultant </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Characteristics of scholarly research <ul><li>Formal </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific </li></ul><ul><li>Systematic </li></ul><ul><li>Available to the public and/or other researchers </li></ul>
  6. 6. Characteristics cont. <ul><li>Research is driven by a question </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quantitative, qualitative or both </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What type of data will be collected/observed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Method of analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conclusions drawn </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New ideas produced </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Scientific Outcomes <ul><li>Describe behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Determine cause of behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Predict behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Explain Behavior </li></ul>
  8. 8. Research and Theory <ul><li>Theory: a set of concepts, definitions, and propositions that present a systematic view of phenomena </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attempts to explain, describe and predict phenomena </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research is theoretically driven or aid in the creation of theory </li></ul>
  9. 9. Characteristic of science <ul><li>Based on evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Testable </li></ul><ul><li>Explores all possibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Able to Replicate </li></ul><ul><li>Public record </li></ul><ul><li>Self correcting </li></ul>
  10. 10. Characteristics cont. <ul><li>Measurement and observation </li></ul><ul><li>Control error </li></ul><ul><li>Objectivity </li></ul><ul><li>Skepticism </li></ul><ul><li>Generalizability </li></ul><ul><li>Heuristic </li></ul>
  11. 11. Communication as a Social science <ul><li>Social science methods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Look for patterns in behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Empirical </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Methods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quantitative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Qualitative </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Quantitative vs. Qualitative <ul><li>Quantitative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Numerical data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses surveys (mostly) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-reported data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conduct experiments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Large sample </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Qualitative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Observation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Variety of collection methods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Researcher is collector of data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Observe in natural environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Small sample </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. The Scientific Approach <ul><li>Interesting question </li></ul><ul><li>Formulate hypothesis or RQ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hypothesis (H) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research question (RQ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Refine hypothesis or RQ </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct observation/measurement/experiment </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze/interpret data </li></ul>
  14. 14. Methodological Extremes <ul><li>“Law of the Hammer” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Methodological tools serve different purposes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>RQ or Hypothesis drive selection of methodological tool </li></ul><ul><li>Method is only helpful if it helps answer the RQ or H </li></ul>
  15. 15. Questions Asked by Communication Scholars <ul><li>Wide variety </li></ul><ul><li>Determine the importance of the question </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal interest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social importance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Theoretical value </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. HAVE A GREAT DAY! <ul><li>Don’t forget to start thinking about who you want in your research group! </li></ul>

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