CommResearch_NotesSpr08

CommResearch_NotesSpr08 - Communication Research Spring...

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Communication Research – Spring 2008 Prof Yanovitzky Lecture Notes January 24, 2008 Foundations of Communication Research Knowledge is Power Knowledge is (Oxford English Dictionary): Theoretical or practical understanding of a subject Expertise and skills acquired by a person through experience or education What is known in a particular field (facts and information) 3 elements of something??? Capacity Motivation? Opportunity Two conceptions of knowledge: Knowledge as individual property (Commodity) [most important commodity is not diamond, but information] Knowledge as a public good (non-rival, non-excludable) [everybody should share information and have equal access to] Knowledge gives individuals the power to: Make better (informed) decisions Use better problem-solving tools (expertise and skills) Have more attractive market/social position Knowledge gives humankind the power to: Survive and improve quality of life (live at the present) Socialize new generations of humans (maintain a past) ex. Learn bout your culture, family tree…etc. Progress (have a future) ex. We now live longer Why are we preoccipi Ways of Knowing Personal experience ( direct [first-hand] or vicarious [learn by observing]) Intuition (common sense) Authority Tradition Myth and superstitions Ex. Having sex with a virgin can cure AIDS Science Characteristics of Science Systematic Grounded in empiricism (facts) Replicable Cumulative and self-correcting Ex. Changing the food pyramid
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Communication Research – Spring 2008 Prof Yanovitzky Lecture Notes Cyclical and ongoing: it never ends. What are we looking for? Social regularities (patterns in social life) Describe, explain, and predict shared patterns of human behavior Formulate probabilistic (rather than deterministic) rules Examples: People are more likely to process persuasive information if they like the source than if they don’t People tend to compare their behavior to that of similar peers How do we look for? Two sets of instruments/tools: Logic(theory) – what to look for and why Empirical observations – where and how to look Must keep in mind that scientific inquiry is prone to errors (EX. Inaccurate observations, overgeneralizations, and illogical reasoning) Research in communication Communication is the process by which verbal and non-verbal messages are used to create and share meaning Basic formulation of research interests: who (sender), says what (message), to whom (receiver), how (channel), and with what effect? Types of research Basic research (advance knowledge) Applied research (solve practical problems) Goals of research Explanatory research Descriptive research (what happens) Explanatory (casual) research (how it happens)
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Communication Research – Spring 2008 Prof Yanovitzky Lecture Notes January 29, 2008 Research Problems and Questions Lecture Overview The Research Process
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