Comm Research Notes for Exam 2

Comm Research Notes for Exam 2 - Communication Research-...

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Communication Research- Notes for Exam #2 Where Good Research Starts: How We Measure -Observation is the foundation of empirical research -Observation is done through measurement: careful, deliberate observations of the real world to describe objects, events, and processes When you are doing something in a carefully organized, methodological manner - How we measure affects our results Types of Measurement in Research 1) Direct Observables What you can see and record it for yourself Ex: How many people in our class are left handed? 2) Indirect Observables Think archives, secondary sources, and retold information Things that you can’t observe first hand 3) Constructs How we measure what we cannot see Studying What We Can’t See: What is She Talking About? -What do you think of when I say: Prejudice Empathy Identity
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-Personal experience in defining constructs -When we call these “constructs,” we’re calling attention to the fact that we are placing names and definitions on things that do not exist on their own in a concrete form Constructs may not be real – but they help us study things that ARE REAL Defining Terms -Because personal experiences shape our social understandings of terms, its essential that we define what we mean when we use that term in research -When we define constructs in ways that are measurable, we call this an operational definition Defining something SO you can operate it, utilize it, etc. -To operationally define a term, we might measure the presence or absence of what we consider a necessary element—literally, an indicator -What indicators would we use to define: Love? Prejudice? Aggression? If you were making a checklist/scale, what would be on it? Identity as an Example Identity as 3-dimensional construct: For example I affiliate with: Christian- Greek Orthodox -What might you consider as indicators for each of these dimensions? Cognitive- rituals and rights of church and religions Behavioral- go to church regularly, attending Sunday School, attend confession Affective- believing in the word of the bible ^ These are all indicators of a multi-dimensional ‘thing’ we CAN’T touch or feel -You might end up with the conclusion that there is no one answer – and that’s okay…
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Good research always leads to new questions Operational Definition -Defining terms until they work (operate) -Decisions about what a construct means in a particular context -Say we want to study TV violence, It’s Decision Time… Is boxing the same as torture, or as a staged murder? Does the amount of screen time make a difference?
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Comm Research Notes for Exam 2 - Communication Research-...

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