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Research begins with questions

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Glorianne Schott

on 21 October 2016

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Transcript of Research begins with questions

Intro to Com: Research and Theory
Research begins with questions
What is research?
What is scholarly research?
What are the various types of communication research?
What are the goals of research?
What is a theory?
What is Com theory?

And more questions
What is the connection between research and theory?
What is the scientific approach?
What kinds of questions do communication scholars ask?
Process of asking questions and finding answers
Application of scientific and systematic procedures
Assumes that patterns can be discovered, explained
Includes empirically based methods (observation)
• Set of statements that explain a particular phenomenon
• Presents a systematic view of the phenomena
• Developed and tested over time
• Attempts to explain and predict phenomena/behavior
Beginning with a theory is often part of deductive research.

The research process depends on
your abilities to search for and
track down information.

A Formal and systematic method
(Step one, step two etc)
Describes behavior
Determines causes of behavior
Predicts behavior
Explains behavior
Scholarly Research
To test theories, scholars use various methods:
○ observe the behavior.
○ develop a survey
○ Conduct a focus group

Developing/Testing Theories
Communication Research Methods
Two, Three, Seven

1. Social Science (primarily quantitative)
2. Interpretative (primarily qualitative)
3. Critical (primarily qualitative )
Research that begins with theory is generally deductive, research that begins with observation is often inductive.
Looks for patterns esp. causality.
Makes predictions (hypothesis)
Test the predictions by gathering data
Explains behavior
Often uses surveys with 5 point scale
Usually quantitative, inductive
Usually includes a lot of statistics to determine if something is "significant".
Most Communication research uses this methodology.
Strengths and Weaknesses of
Social Science Approach

Begin with

Ethical Foundations
Theories . . .
○ Are Developed and tested incrementally over time
○ Are Never complete…open to change and evolve
○ Provide patterns for interpreting data
○ Link one study to another
○ Provide a framework for understanding how communication concepts and issues are important
○ Help us interpret the meaning of research findings
The Social Science Approach follows the Scientific Method.
1. Start with an interesting question
2. Can it be observed or measured? How?
3. Head to the library
4. Use reason and experience to refine the hypothesis or research question
5. Conduct the observation, measurement, or experiment
6. Analyze and interpret the data
1. Intro
2. Review of the Literature
3. Methodology
4. Results
5. Conclusions/Recommendations for further study
5 parts to published research
“There is nothing quite as practical as a good theory.” Kurt Lewin
Questions over Ethics
• What ethical issues are involved in studying the behavior/habits of humans?
• Should some communication situations not be researched/observed?
• What are the arguments for and against communication scholars conducting research on human communication?
Theory Defined
Social Science Methodology
SS Uses the Scientific Method
Assumes human behaviors are predicable &
Communication patterns can be measured.
1. Start with interesting question
2. Determine how behavior can be observed or measured?
3. Do library research for other studies
4. Formulate Hypothesis
5. Conduct experiment/observation
6. Analyze and Interpret results

Social Science Approach
Required ingredients:
1. Observed behavior
2. Prediction of influences i.e. causal, sequential.
3. The underlying assumptions/beliefs about behavior.
4. The behavior is generalizable/consistent by some boundary: When, Where, and Who.

Strong theories
Whetten, D. A. (Summer, 2000). Developing “Good” Theory Through Articulation and Examination. from http://icos.groups.si.umich.edu/Theory%20Development%20Workshop%20Sli
Two general types of research:
1. Quantitative methods
2. Qualitative methods
Asks critical questions with a goal to
society or to transform unequal relationships.
Reflective assessments
that critique society and culture by applying knowledge from the social sciences and the humanities.
Similar to Interpretive but looks at societal issues, power and communication with an eye to making recommendations to make things better.
Methodology: Text analysis, ethnography, media analysis.

Ethnography: Any qualitative research project where the intent is to provide a detailed, in-depth description of everyday life and practice.
Focuses on the individual in specific situations
Usually Qualitative/Observational
Methods: Open ended questions, focus groups,
field study, interviews, content analysis,
rhetorical analysis.
Deductive: Looks at the collection of information
and then draws conclusions.
The American Psychological Association maintains strict
standards of ethics for social science researchers, requiring
that all participants receive full information about
the research study.

Problematic Studies

Communication theories are not just academic exercises, they explain and offer insight into one's own communication.
Research Journal Evaluation
Name and author of the scholarly research. The goal is to give the reference in APA.
Write answers to the following:
1. Intro: Include purpose of study and any theories that are listed.
2. Review of the Literature: Include 3 to 4 findings
3. Methodology: describe
4. Results
5. Conclusions/Recommendations for further study

Demand Withdraw Theory by Christenson--
One partner, the demander, attempts to
discuss a problem, is critical of the other's behavior, and tries to bring about change. The other partner, the withdrawer, usually tries to avoid discussion of the problem or tries to withdraw from any such discussion and is often defensive during the discussion.
Research/replication has shown:
-couples who demonstrate more demand/withdraw interaction tend to be more unhappy
-men are more likely to be withdrawers

Social Science/Quantitative
Nadia and Ben
A couple with a consistent pattern of
communication conflict.
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