Chapter 2 - Points of View About Theory - Final

Chapter 2 - Points of View About Theory - Final - Chapter...

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Chapter 2: Comm. As Liberal Art Michael C. deGroot Comm. As a Social Science Lecture Notes: Points of View About Theory (Chapter 2) 1. Theory is the Foundation of Every Academic Discipline (34, B,4) 1. Identity important variables (Description) 1. First: Identity key features that make it what it is. WHAT? 2. Account for the effects that occur (Explanation) 1. Second: How or why something happens 2. Explanations lead to predictions, predictions cannot lead to explanation. 3. Most important step. 3. Anticipate future outcomes (Prediction) 1. Third: What’s Next? What will happen in the future 2. Explain behavior before it occurs 4. Provide guidance in obtaining goals and solving problems (Control) 1. Forth : How Should I Act to achieve my goals? 5. Goals of science achieved through theory – without theory we are without science. 1. A Sequence from Description to Control 2. We must ask the consequences of following or not following the behavior directional determined by description, prediction, and control. 1
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Chapter 2: Comm. As Liberal Art 2. Characteristics of All Theories 1. Abstract 1. Partial – No theory compasses everything in communication rather they focus on a certain aspect to describe, explain, predict and control. A theories explain only one part of a phenomenon. 2. General – (Not Specific) theories are abstract/general, as opposed to concrete/specific. A symbolic representation of reality at which it attempts to describe. 1. Ex. No theory of Ken Seereno 1. His behavior, however, can be explained by general theory’s: theory of credibility can explain his individual behavior. 2. Allows application to specific instances. 1. Theories also refer to variables in terms how the effect each other. 1. Ex. How threat appeals affect compliance 1. Democrates claim bush use threats to maintain power 2. Human Constructions - Human explanations, not facts, not truth. 1. Do not assume theories are truths or facts. 1. Ex. Newtons Theory: Isn’t the only theory which explains the movements of waves. 2
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Chapter 2: Comm. As Liberal Art 2. Antithetical theories may oppose each other even though they use the same variables. 3. Modern theories have data to support them 2. We cannot apply one theory to every situation 1. Avoid apply theories to situation they do not relate too. 3. Components of Theories (Definitely on the TEST) 1. Construct/Variables - (Variable) Any phenomenon that can vary in quantity. (Constructs) should be used when you speak of the content of theoretical concept. 1. Ex. If we define credibility as how the listeners views the receivers competence, we use the term construct. 1. if we speak about how measure credibility on a mathematical – high, medium, low - we use the term variable. 1.
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This note was uploaded on 03/28/2009 for the course COMM 200 taught by Professor Sereno during the Fall '07 term at USC.

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Chapter 2 - Points of View About Theory - Final - Chapter...

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