Final Study Guide

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)
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2010 for the course COMM 305 taught by Professor Iverson during the Spring '08 term at Texas A&M.

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

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