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This 8 page Study Guide was uploaded by AliciaAXO on Sunday September 4, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to COM 351 at University of Kentucky taught by Kevin Wombacher in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see Intro to Communication Theory in Communications at University of Kentucky.
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Date Created: 09/04/16
COM 351 Study Guide – Exam 1 Chapter 1 Theory o A set of systematic, informed hunches about the way things work A set of hunches A theory is not just one inspired thought or an isolated idea *Guesses or ideas Ex: “We are not yet sure we have the answer” Informed hunches A careful conscious selfanalysis of communication phenomena o Communication theorists should be familiar w/ alternative explanations and interpretations of the type of communication they’re studying *Done research/have an idea Hunches that are systematic A theory that not only lays out multiple ideas, but also specifies the relationships among them o The links among the informed hunches are clearly drawn so that a pattern emerges *The way things fit/organized in a way they fit o Images of Theory Theories of Nets “Theories are nets cast to catch what we call “the world”…we endeavor to make the mesh even finer and finer” *Catches knowledge, smaller things will get through though Theories as Lenses Theoretical constructions: lens of a camera/pair of glasses o Theories shape our perception by focusing attention on some features of communication, while ignoring others Stance of the viewer *Focusing attention on one part, not the big picture Theories as Maps Communication theories are maps of the way communication works o The truth they depict may have to do w/: Objective behaviors – “out there” Subjective meanings – Inside our heads What is Communication? o The relational process of creating & interpreting messages that elicit a response An arrangement of ideas to aid comprehension o Messages/ “Text” A record of a message that can be analyzed by others Ex: Book, film, radio, photo or any transcript or recording of a speech/broadcast *Type, content, meaning, how it’s created & why o Creation of message The content & form of a text are usually constructed, invented, planned, crafted, constituted, selected, or adopted by the communicator o Interpretation of message Words don’t mean things, people mean things o Relational Process Communication is a relational process It affects the nature of the connections among these people Building or maintaining a relationship o Messages that elicit a response The effect of the message upon people who receive it Only counts when the other person responds (feeling or response) Chapter 2 Metatheory o Theory about theory; the stated or inherent assumptions made when creating a theory o Helps us understand the goals that a theory has Without this knowledge, we cannot evaluate whether the theory is good or bad o About how we see the world o Guides the types of questions that we ask & how we try to answer them o Elements: We can begin to understand paradigms based upon the epistemological, ontological, & axiological assumptions Epistemology *The study of knowledge; knowledge & truth o What is knowledge? How can we acquire it? o Objective/Scientific One best way/One Big T (truth) of the universe Evidence speaks for itself o Interpretive Socially constructed Little t truth (smaller truths for what brings us value) There is no 1 truth The study of the origin, nature, method, & limits of knowledge o Scientists assume truth is singular Ontology The study of reality o What is reality? What can be said to exist? o Views: Determinism “We don’t make decisions, all actions are reactions? Ex: “I had to..” “In order to..” Free Will We make our own fate *Objective: We are reactors *Interpretive: We are actors Axiology The role of values Objective: o Stay objective – Separate researcher & research o Evidence speaks for itself o Values can guide questions, but not result Interpretive or critical o Can’t separate knower & known o Values should guide research o Emancipation Liberation from any form of political, economic, racial, religious, or sexual oppression; empowerment o Objectivity *To access the truth through unbiased sensory observation No empirical evidence Hard for behavioral scientists Data collected through direct observation o Objective Approach The assumption that the truth is singular & is accessible through unbiased sensory observation; committed to uncovering cause&effect relationships Resonance Principle of Communication o Successful persuasive messages evoke past experiences that create resonance b/w the messages content & a person’s thoughts or feelings o An Interpretive Approach *Multiple meanings; Truth is largely subjective, different truths for different people The linguistic work of assigning meaning or value to communicative texts; assumes that multiple meanings or truths are possible o Differ @ Epistemology Goal of theory o Objectivists hope to uncover universal laws that govern our world Can be applied across the board Accurately predict & explain behavior o Interpretivists look for ways to explore what gives meaning to human experience Not generalizable, focuses on specific time/place context for meaning o On a continuum Scientific Interpretive Critical Can operate from all perspectives Where a theory came from Chapter 3 Objective Theory Evaluation Criteria: Explain, Control, Predict o Prediction of Future Events A good objective theory predicts what will happen o Explanation of the Data Goes beyond raw data & explains why Describes the process, focuses our attention on what’s critical, & helps us ignore that which makes little difference *Tells us the reasons behind events/decisions *Explains why something happened o Relative Simplicity A good objective theory is as simple as possible Rule of Parsimony (Occam’s Razor) Given 2 plausible explanations for the same event, we should accept the simpler version o Hypotheses that can be tested A good objective theory is testable Falsifiability o The requirement that a scientific theory be stated in such a way that is can be tested & disproved if it is indeed wrong o Practical Utility A good objective theory is useful o Quantitative Research Depends on the Comparison of Difference This group compared to that group, this treatment as opposed to that treatment, these results vs. those results To test their predictions: o Experiments – Research method that manipulates a variable in a tightly controlled situation in order to find out if it has the predicted effect o Surveys – Uses questionnaires & structured interviews to collect selfreported data that reflects what respondents think, feel, or intend to do Interpretive Theory Evaluation Criteria: o Clarification of Values Brings people’s values into the open Ethical Imperative Grants others that occur in your construction the same autonomy you practice constructing them *Should help us gain a better understanding of what is important to people *Examine the researchers values too o New Understanding of People *When you offer fresh insight into the human condition Seek to gain an understanding in humans symbolic interaction *Looking @ a specific speech community & what makes their experience different SelfReferential Appeal Include yourself as your own construction o Aesthetic Appeal Artistry & clarity o Community of Agreement The amount of support it generates w/ in community of scholars who are interested & knowledgeable about the same type of communication Interpretation of meaning is subjective *Widely accepted theory or debated? o Reform of Society Often generates change Critical interpreters are reformers who have an impact on society Critical theorists Scholars who use theory to reveal unjust communication practices that create or perpetuate an imbalance of power *Especially true of critical/cultural theories o Qualitative Research Researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense/interpret, phenomena in terms of the meaning people bring to them Use words to support their theories versus #’s Methods used to study how humans use signs & symbol to create & infer meaning o Textual Analysis A research method that describes & interprets the characteristics of any text o Ethnography A method of participant observation designed to help a researcher experience a culture’s complex web of meaning Points of Contact o Prediction & Value Clarification look to the future Prediction suggest what will happen; Value: what ought to happen o An Explanation of Communication Behavior can lead to further Understanding of People’s motivation o Simplicity has an Aesthetic Appeal o Testing Hypotheses is a way of achieving Community Agreement o What could be more practical than a theory that performs practices? Quantitative & Qualitative research reflect a commitment to learn more about communication Chapter 4 7 Traditions Differ in Vocabulary, Approach, & Conceptualization of Problems Helps us understand the difference, critique theory, & conduct meaningful & salient research o The Socio Psychological Tradition Communication as Interpersonal Interaction & Influence *The Most Objective Search for universal truths *Truth discovered by careful, systematic observation Measure by #’s *Interested in trying to reduce change *Being objective & unbiased is important Ex: Persuasion research Scholars believe there are communication truths that can be discovered by careful, systematic observation Look for cause&effect relationships that will predict the results when people communicate Epitomizes the scientific or objective perspective *Objective o The Cybernetic Tradition *Fairly Objective *Based on the idea of communication serving as the links b/w different parts of a system *Interested in understanding how these systems work & how they can be changed *Everything is connected by communcation Communication as a System of Information Processing Cybernetics (*Objective) The study of info processing, feedback, & control in communication systems Illustrates the way feedback makes info processing in our heads & laptops Communication is the link connecting the separate parts of any system of social support o The Rhetorical Tradition *Came from early GrecoRoman orator – Plato, Aristotle, Etc. *How can we persuade people & get them to act in a certain way? Communication as Artful Public Address Rhetoric (*Objective) The art of using all available means of persuasion focusing on lines of argument, organization of ideas, language use, & delivery in public speaking o The Semiotic Tradition *Differences b/w signs & symbols *How people use signs & symbols to create & share meaning w/ each other *How these signs & symbols are interpreted & how these interpretations change impacts society Communication as the process of sharing meaning through signs Semiotics The study of verbal & nonverbal signs that can stand for something else, &how their interpretation impacts society Symbols Arbitrary words & nonverbal signs that bear no natural connection w/ the things they describe; their meaning is leaned w/ in a given culture Intimacy o The SocioCultural Tradition *Communication is how culture is created & reproduced When we communicate w/ each other, we are coconstructing our own world/reality *Very Interpretive in nature Communication as the Creation & Enactment of Social Reality As people talk, they (re)produce culture SaphirWhorf Hypothesis of Linguistic Relativity o The claim that the structure of a language shapes what people think & do; the social construction of reality o The Critical Tradition *Looks @ communication & how it relates to power & power imbalances *Believes language is used to perpetuate power & power imbalances *Mass media is complicit in desensitizing people to their own oppression *Frankfurt School – Karl Marx *Critiquing ineqalitiy in society & attempting to rectify them *Very Interpretive Communication as a Reflective Challenge to Unjust Discourse Challenge 3 features of contemporary society: The control of language to perpetuate power imbalances The role of mass media in dulling sensitivity to repression Blind reliance on the scientific method & uncritical acceptance of empirical findings Culture Industries Entertainment businesses that reproduce the dominant ideology of a culture & distract people from recognizing unjust distribution of power w/in society Ex: Film, tv, music, advertising o The Phenomenal Tradition *Your own experience is more important than any statistical data *Interested in people’s perception & interpretation of their own lived experiences *Interested in understanding how people w/ different experiences can maintain relationships & overcome their differing views *Interpretive Communication as the Experience of Self & Others Through Dialogue Phenomenology o Intentional analysis of everyday experiences from the standpoint of the person who is living it o New Tradition – Pragmatism Interested in how differing viewpoints can be useful in different situations How useful an idea/theory is @ solving a problem might be more important than some idea of an absolute truth
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