February 5 Theory and Logic in Communication Research

February 5 Theory and Logic in Communication Research -...

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February 5, 2008 Lecture Review Paradigms and theories Functions of theories Characteristics of a good theory Two logical systems The building blocks of theories Dimensions of relationships Paradigms and theories Paradigm Worldview, assumptions about human nature and society, explanation of all phenomena 1 Functionalist Paradigm People are interdependent; we need others to survive, and therefore we are motivated to maintain a balance in society Theory Set of constructs, definitions, and arguments aimed at explaining a specific phenomenon or process Functions of theories Frame our understanding of social phenomena and processes i.e.—looking at the internet Help to organize research by providing a set of concepts, assumptions, and directions (hypotheses)
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Unformatted text preview: theories give us balance Suggest ways for interpreting or making sense of research findings Enable us to connect a single study to the broader base of knowledge Characteristics of a good theory Produces consistent logical conclusions Is not tautological Is an advance over other theories Is falsifiable Two logical systems Inductive Logic (from the particular to the general) Observe aspects of social life Discover patterns that point to universal principles (empirical generalizations) Construct a theory to explain observed patterns (grounded theory) Deductive Theory (from the general to the particular) Use preconceived theories to derive logically consistent expectation (hypotheses) about a particular case Comparer expected and observed patterns...
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This note was uploaded on 04/03/2008 for the course COMM 300 taught by Professor Yanovitsky during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

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February 5 Theory and Logic in Communication Research -...

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