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Final Study Guide - Final Study Guide Comm 305 Important...

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Final Study Guide- Comm 305 Important Content from Unit 1 and 2 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 4. (a) What should a theory do for us- - solve empirical problems, conceptual problems, and practical problems (b) empirical problem- “ anything about the…world 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 doesn’t 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- - building theory going to have tradeoffs, theories won’t need everything. Each factor is related, if valid than theory more likely to have heuristic value. Conceptualizing Theory and Communication: Our Assumptions 5. (a) What are the key areas of meta-theoretical assumptions-
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- 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 assumptions - - ontology- what exists, what is real, to what extent do humans make real choices. Best
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