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Unformatted text preview: Unit 1 study guide Conceptualizing Theory and Communication: Theory as Maps 1. (a)Define theory- abstract explanation, imperfect representation of the empirical world. (b) Explain how the map is not the territory is relevant for this class- Maps are theories about the empirical world(the real world around us), theories are abstractions (c) In what sense is a theory an abstraction- imperfect representation of the empirical world 2. (a)How are the abstract and empirical worlds linked in theory building- induction and deduction (b) induction- specific to general, into the world; deduction- general to specific 3. (a) what components should a theory have- Description, relationship, links to empirical, should describe the elements (b) description-provides some description of the empirical world, what it is going to look like in the real world ; relationship- describes how each component is linked ; links to empirical world 4. (a) What should a theory do for us- solve empirical problems, conceptual problems, and practical problems (b) empirical problem- anything about theworld which strikes us as odd, or otherwise in need of explanation; conceptual problems-internal conceptual problem exists when a particular theory exhibits inconsistencies that need to be clarified, external conceptual problems occurs when a particular theory conflicts with an explanation provided by another theory; practical problems-only care about theory as it is useful to us (c)Must all good theories have these components and solve problems- yes, good theories use all, but doesnt solve all problems 5. (a) what other factors should we use to evaluate theory- *have all parts, *solve problems, scope, appropriateness, heuristic value, parsimony, validity, openness. *most important (b) scope- to what conditions do the theory apply; appropriateness- are the assumptions made by the theory fit what we do; heuristic value- will the theory generate new theory? Focus of theory needs to be more than a no- duh-theory; parsimony- is it just complicated enough, everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler; validity- is it true, and true about the right things? Must fit what we observe; openness- is it open to other possibilities, tentative and falsifiable? (c) How are these factors connected- when building theory going to have tradeoffs, theories wont need everything. Each factor is related, if valid than theory more likely to have heuristic value. Conceptualizing Theory and Communication: Our Assumptions 6. (a) What are the key areas of meta-theoretical assumptions- Ontology, epistemology, axiology (b) Ontology- covers questions about the nature of being, asks: what exists, what is real, to what extent do humans make real choices; epistemology- covers questions about the nature of knowing, asks: how do we come to know the real/social world; axiology- how can we, or can we, control our values in our work (theory building, research) (c) What are the ramifications for communication research and theory suggested by these sets of...
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- Spring '08