Chapter 15 - Chapter 15: Mass communication research-from...

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Chapter 15: Mass communication research-from content to affects 1. Defining mass communication research a. Researchers have developed a systematic study of media technology and content, the forces that shape and create their creation, how and why people use media, and the impact of media institutions on individuals and society b. Basic and practical mass communication research i. Practical research aims to help media organizations increase their audiences. ii. Basic research aims to create more theoretical understanding of human communication using mass media. c. Approaches to mass communication research i. Begins with a paradigm, which is a set of assumptions about the nature of human behavior. Dominated by two paradigms. ii. Social science approach 1. Research approach that emphasizes theory building and quantitative methods for testing theory. 2. The origins of this approach lie in an effort to adapt scientific methods to the study of human behavior. iii. Critical/cultural approach 1. Studies the connection between media and the society along with the impact of those connections on culture d. Types of research methods i. Qualitative 1. Look at symbolic meaning that individuals assign to media content based on their own perspective. Qualitative methods include participant observation, in-depth interviews, and textual analysis. 2. Detailed focus on a small number of cases 3. Used in the quest to understand the relationship between humans and their media. 4. Used when want to get in depth reports 5. Participant observation
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a. Research where researchers observe research subjects in everyday behavior 6. Textual analysis a. Research where researchers interpret texts to find the social meanings underlying them. 7. In-depth interviewing a. Subjects are selected for study several detailed interviews are conducted at different times. b. Focus groups i. Allows a researcher to collect in-depth information 8. Not large enough to accurately represent large social groups. ii. Quantitative 1. Uses statistical analysis of media content or responses of individuals as a way to categorize media content. The content and responses are assigned numbers. Quantitative method includes experiments, surveys, and content analysis. 2. Select people through random methods, allowing researchers to make generalizations from the data 3. Does not give an in-depth understanding 4. Experiments a. Involves application and manipulation of a treatment given to groups of people, and then tests the result. i. Causation 1. The process by which one or more factors result in the occurrence of an even, behaviors or attitude. A variety of factors cause human behavior, 2. Experiments occur in artificial settings; their results may not represent everyday behavior. 5.
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Chapter 15 - Chapter 15: Mass communication research-from...

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