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lec2 - April 5 2011 THEORIZING Communication Theory An...

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April 5, 2011 THEORIZING Communication Theory An umbrella term for all careful, systematic, and self-conscious discussion and analysis of communication phenomena Components of Theory 1. Components: words or terms that label the most important elements in a theory 2. Relationships: specify the ways in which the concepts in the theory are combined Goals of Theory To predict, explain, understand, and/or effect social change - Social scientific theories focus on prediction and explanation - Interpretive research focus on understanding and changing things Similarities between Naïve and Professional Theorizing - Both puzzle over questions encountered through observation - Both seek answers for these questions - Both set up certain criteria that define what an acceptable answer might be Difference between Naïve and Professional Theorizing - Researchers (particularly social scientists) systematically test theories while naïve scientists are inclined to engage in selective testing Research Process Social Scientific Methods: researchers gather data that can usually be converted to numbers. The
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