But your study of how and why people adopt smart

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But your study of how and why people adopt smart watches may reshape our initial understanding of the concept of adoption itself. This new way of thinking about adoption may then (re)frame research questions about new wearable technologies, and so on. Exhibit 2.2 Assumptions About Human Communication and Their Research Implications Ethics Panel: Do Some Research Methods Have More Ethical Implications Than Others? The subjectivity in human communication requires that you explore the subjective life of individuals as they report it. Typically, this means interviewing people and “probing” as to why they see things the way they do. To facilitate this process, you assure your interviewees that their confidences will be respected and that nothing you report will identify them. As you explore the complexities of organizational culture in a major corporation, one informant, based on your assurances of confidentiality, “lets loose.” You hear all about his unsatisfactory working conditions, personal life, and prospects in general. The veiled threats that emerge from the informant’s interview suggest that he may become a danger to his colleagues, if not himself. What do you do? As you walk away with a voice recorder full of statements that you have chosen to interpret as veiled threats, you contemplate the fact that had you asked simple yes/no– or multiple-choice– type questions, the troubling information you now have may never have surfaced. Could it be that some research methods raise more ethical problems than others? What is your obligation to those who might be harmed in some way if the threats you detect were to translate into action? What is your obligation to the individual you interviewed? What is your obligation to the research process in general? For example, should you stay away from such research because of its potential complications or be prepared to break your assurances of confidentiality when you detect potential danger to your participants or others?
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You can jump ahead to Chapter 3 for some help with these questions. Chapter Summary Communication researchers differ in ontology (how to define communication) and in epistemology (how best to understand communication). Generally, researchers assume either that human communication is objectively measurable and can be summarized in rules and generalizations or that communication is subjective and individualistic and must be described as such. The processes of induction, deduction, and abduction link observations to theory. Ways of understanding communication include tenacity, intuition, authority, and empiricism. The general purposes of research are description, explanation, prediction, control, interpretation, and criticism. Research may begin with specific hypotheses, general research questions, or no specific questions at all. Credible research must have a logical link between the methods chosen and the assumptions that underpin them.
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