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Lecture 2 - What Makes A Good Theory

Lecture 2 - What Makes A Good Theory - Weighing the Words...

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8/25/13’ 1’ Weighing the Words What Makes A Good Theory COM337 Comunication Theory Weighing the Words The work of social scientists and interpreters is so different that it is natural they often have trouble understanding and valuing their counterparts’ scholarship 2 COM337 Comunication Theory What Makes an Objective Theory Good? Twin objectives of scientific knowledge Explains past and present Predicts the future Four additional criteria for theories: Relative simplicity Testability Practical utility Quantifiable research 3 COM337 Comunication Theory What Makes an Objective Theory Good? Scientific Standard 1: Explanation of the Data Objective theory draws order out of chaos Describes process, focuses attention on what’s crucial, helps us ignore that which makes little difference The reason something happens becomes as important as the fact that it does 4 COM337 Comunication Theory What Makes an Objective Theory Good? Scientific Standard 2: Prediction of Future Events Objective theory predicts what will happen Only possible when dealing with things we can see, hear, touch, smell, and taste over and over again In social sciences, a certain humility on the part of the theorist is advisable 5 COM337 Comunication Theory What Makes an Objective Theory Good?
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Lecture 2 - What Makes A Good Theory - Weighing the Words...

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