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Communication Theory (Evaluating Theory)

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Communication Theory (Evaluating Theory)

  1. 1. Communication Theory Evaluating Theory Tara Wilkinson Media + Communication Lecturer
  2. 2. Review Session (Objective vs. Interpretive Scholars)  Ways of Knowing  Views of Human Nature  Values  Goals of Theory  Research Methods
  3. 3. 6 Standards Good Objective Theory Explains Past & Present Quantifiable Research Predicts the Future Objective Theory Practical Utility Relative Simplicity Testability
  4. 4. Explanation of Data  Explains an event or human behaviour  Describes the process, focuses our attention on what’s crucial, helps us to ignore what makes little difference  Goes beyond raw data to explain why
  5. 5. Prediction of Future Events  Predicts what will happen Prediction is only possible when dealing with things we can see, hear, touch, smell and taste over and over again  Communication is the cause or effect of some other variable
  6. 6. Relative Simplicity
  7. 7. Hypotheses that Can Be Tested  Falsifiability: The requirement that a scientific theory must be stated in such a way that it can be tested and disproved if it is indeed wrong
  8. 8. Practical Utility  Usefulness is the measure of worth of the good objective theory  Consider how others have made use of the insight
  9. 9. Quantitative Research  Tend to appeal to numbers rather than words  Measure and report what they see in precise numerical rather than linguistic terms which are open to interpretation
  10. 10. 6 Standards ‘Good’ Interpretive Theory New Understanding of People Qualitative Research Clarification of Values Interpretive Theory Reform of Society Aesthetic Appeal Community of Agreement
  11. 11. New Understanding of People  Develop understanding of local knowledge or members’ unique rules for interaction  Tools aid in the search for situated meaning
  12. 12. Clarification of Values  Theorists actively seek to acknowledge, identify or unmask the ideology behind the message under scrutiny  Interpretive theorists should be willing to reveal their own ethical commitments  Scholars should not remain ethically detached from the people they are studying or from the political and economic implication of their work.
  13. 13. Aesthetic Appeal  Scientific writing is based on a specific formula. E.g propositions, hypotheses  Artfully incorporates imagery, metaphor, illustration to make the theory come alive for others
  14. 14. Community of Agreement  Generates support within a community of scholars who are interested and knowledgeable about the same type of communication.  Subject of widespread analysis
  15. 15. Reform of Society  Not only interprets the intended meaning of a text but generates change/fresh alternatives for social action  Expose and publicly resist the ideology that permeates the accepted wisdom of a culture
  16. 16. Qualitative Research  While Scientist use numbers to support their theories, Interpretive scholars use words  Qualitative scholars study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of, or to interpret phenomena in terms of the meaning people bring them
  17. 17. Evaluation Communication Theory Scientific Theory Interpretive Theory 1. Explanation of Data 1. Understanding of People 2. Prediction of Future 2. Clarification of Values 3. Relative Simplicity 3. Aesthetic Appeal 4. Testable Hypotheses 4. Community of Agreement 5. Practical Utility 5. Reform of Society 6. Quantitative Research 6. Qualitative Research

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