Comm 1001 Chapters 1-4 Class Notes
Comm 1001 Chapters 1-4 Class Notes COMM 1001
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This 13 page Class Notes was uploaded by Christine Wirt on Tuesday February 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to COMM 1001 at East Carolina University taught by Dr. Richards in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 286 views. For similar materials see Intro to Communications in Communication at East Carolina University.
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Date Created: 02/09/16
Comm 1001 Chapters 1-4 Chapter 1: What is Theory? Why study comm? o Universal o Broad o Good communication skills (more confident) o Is it useful? Yes How? o Solving conflict o First impression o Is everyone “good at communicating? No, everyone could be better When are their communication problems? Texting, emailing (no tone, abbreviations) Body language is lost via technology how can they affect you/your life? o Influence our relationships o Ability to share what we know (could be nervous) Successful communication needs to be effective and appropriate o Communication is a central focus of your existence o Two general reasons to study comm: The social, personal and workplace benefits of communication competently. Benefits: o communicate information well o make job more enjoyable The need to improve our communication with others. Defining Communication o The field of communication is the study of how people create, learn, change and use symbols and symbolic actions o The relational process of creating and interpreting messages that elicit a response o A transactional process of sharing meaning with others “early” means two different things to two different people A process o Communicators make conscious choices about a messages form and substance What are ways/ methods/ forms of communication? Nonverbal Facial expressions Face to face Texting o Messages are symbolically encoded and decoded by people base on the meanings they assign I send you a message and you receive it and decode it o Words have different meanings which could cause conflict “you look bad today” …. bad in a good way or bad in a not so good way? o Communication is an on-going process between two or more people Communication never stops o How does communication influence someone? Receiver Sender Bystander Learned o How do we learn to communicate? Practicing Watching others Taught Any type of communication you could get better at? o Text messages- tone o Public speaking o Speaking to adults o Nonverbal o Listen What are the areas we study? o Interpersonal- communication between individuals Intimacy/ romance, gender, family, conflict, friendship o Intrapersonal- communication with oneself Thinking out loud Notes to yourself Practicing speech in mirror o Small group o Organizational- the structure and workings of organizations and relationship of employees o Health- Dr./ patient interaction, health campaigns o Public speaking o Rhetoric- the study of texts o Argumentation/ Persuasion- the study of debate, argument, and influence Theory defined o A set of systematic informed hunches about the way things work [Judee Burgoon] A hunch- you are making a guess about how/ why things work You do not know for sure if this is the case o Example- Theory of Evolution Informed hunches o Can we come up with a theory without doing research, investigating or having some experience? We need to have educated guess Systematic and informed o Multiple pieces of information are necessary for a strong theory Systematic o Multiple layers to a theory o These ideas are made into a coherent thought by the theory Theory as an image o Descriptive ways to understand theory Lens- a way to look at an issue/ problem/ idea Map or guide- helping us to understand something difficult Goals of theory- what they do: o Description- describe the features, details, experiences, of phenomena. Description can be very dry or vivid. o Explanation- show how something works or why something happens o Prediction- forecast future events based on current characteristics/ actions o Social change- show how to make things better Evaluating theories o There are many standards for evaluating theories o The standards are different for different theories o No theory meets all standards equally well Testability Parsimony Logical consistency Utility Scope Quiz o Which of the following was presented as a truism among communication scholars? Words don’t mean things, people mean things o What technical term does Judee Burgoon use in reference to communication theory? Hunches o Communication is the relational process involving: Creating messages, interpreting messages, and responses o Communication scholars believe that communication is: A process o For clarity, a communication theory should rest on a single hunch or isolated idea False Chapter 2: Talk about theory The world, us and theory o Theories are based in assumptions about “reality” and how we know reality Ontology- belief about what reality is and where it comes from Epistemology- how we learn about and understand reality We use epistemology to understand an ontology. Its like using a scale to measure weight vs. using a ruler to measure length. The two must be matched. Theories and paradigms o Theories are always based in a philosophical perspective or paradigm There are multiple paradigms (and even more “traditions”) Objective Interpretive Critical Each paradigm has very different assumptions about the nature of the world and how meaning develops from it Objective paradigm o Objective “social scientific” Paradigm: Ontology: The world is objective- the same for everyone Things are casually related (things happen because previous things happened) Results of research apply to everyone “generalizable” o Epistemology- Things must be measures using universal units (e.g., inches, feet, kilograms, etc.) Researcher opinions must be kept separate from research Tend to use theories that predict and explain Objective paradigm research o Types of research include: Behavioral studies Advertising and persuasion studies Any human experience that can be identified as “cause- effect” o Methods: Experimentation Questionnaires/ surveys Objective o Members of behavioral science (psychology, sociology, etc.) approach communication using the scientific method Try to remove bias (be objective) Let the theory speak for itself Predict and then explain the results Example o Taking an objective approach and using source credibility theory Expertise and trustworthiness Athletic shoe commercial featuring Kim K or Lebron How could we test if the endorsement benefited the brand? Look at sales after commercial Interpretive o Theorists using humanities approach study communications through interpreting texts In a conversation or commercial what is the main message? Underlying messages? o Whatever you have right now is not better than what we are offering o More room for coming up with your own ideas and using your own lens as compared to being objective Interpretive paradigm o Ontology: The world is experienced and connected to people The world is subjective- different people have different experiences Things occur via motivation- our actions are deliberate rather than “caused” Results of research are largely individual and unique o Epistemology Things are understood in terms of process Researcher beliefs are part of understanding phenomena Tend to use theories that describe and explain Interpretive paradigm research o Research focuses on characterizing and understanding how subjects do things o Methods: Ethnography Textual analysis Interpretive scholars o Truth is subjective; meaning is highly interpretive We decide for ourselves what something means and our idea may differ from someone else’s Multiple meanings are acceptable Human nature: determinism o Determinism- for everything that happens there are conditions such that, given those conditions, nothing else could happen We have little control o How does this relate to communication? “I was late because my alarm clock didn’t go off” “I dropped the class because it was too hard” Determinism o Heredity and environment determine behavior Scientists favor this Behavior shaped by forces beyond our control or individual awareness Behavior is the response to a prior stimulus- a reaction Human Nature: free will o Free will- the ability to make your own choices without outside interference You make your own choices o How does this relate to communication? “I was late because I did not set my alarm clock” “I dropped the class because I did not want to put in the necessary effort” Free will o human behavior is ultimately voluntary interpretive scholars endorse this they focus on conscious choices of individuals, not on why choices are made they believe that significant decisions are value laden- what does this mean? Value laden? Objectivity o Social scientists value objectivity; personal values should not distort reality Ex: recommending a university to your best friend who is a high school senior How would an objective person help them pick a university? o This is important for theories because we want our theories to be unbiased Why do we need theory? o Scientists use them to predict how things will happen o Ex: scientists create a hypothesis: trustworthiness is important to persuasion o Then they test it, again and again. If it holds true we can include it in creating our advertisement for shoes o Interpretive scholars strive for meaning rather than prediction Analyze an event- an argument between a couple They look at the words used, body language, etc. To analyze these actions, they need a theory to help guide them in understanding what it all may mean Objective or interpretive o We need to understand the assumptions about truth, human nature, the purpose of theory and its values What is the goal of theory? To predict something or try and understand? Critical paradigm (related to interpretive) o Ontology The world is defined by power relationships Social structures generally keep the powerful in power o Epistemology Power structures must be identified before a thoughtful analysis of human action can occur Paradigms and methods o Each paradigm/ method is selected based on what kind of question the researcher wants to answer o All paradigms seek to create understanding in different ways Objective= generalization and cause/ effect “why” questions Interpretive= themes and processes “how” questions Critical= empowerment and opportunity questions regarding power and equity Quiz o a social scientist is often appropriately labeled… an empiricist o rhetorical critics maintain that objectivity is a myth Chapter 3: Weighing the Words A “good” theory o not all theories are created equal o scholars from different camps tend to disagree social scientists (objective theories) and interpretists have different viewpoints which leads to trouble understanding and valuing their counterpart’s scholarship o ex: democrats and republicans different viewpoints lead to disagreement Criteria for a good objective theory o two objectives of scientific knowledge 1. Explains past and present 2. Predicts the future o four additional criteria for theories: 1. Relative simplicity 2. Testability 3. Practical utility 4. Quantifiable research scientific standard 1: explanation of the data o objective theory draws order out of chaos describes process focuses attention on what’s important it explains what is happening and why scientific standard 2: prediction of future events o 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, we must not be too boastful in our predictions o any thoughts on types of communication or situations we could study over and over? Relationships Joey from “FRIENDS” Scientific standard 3: relative simplicity o Objective theory should be as simple as possible Rule of parsimony (Occam’s Razor)- we should use the simplest explanation o Ex: food is missing from my refrigerator Simple hypothesis on the cause of the disappearance? How about extravagant ideas? Wife/ roommates Rat Robber Scientific standard 4: hypothesis that can be tested o Objective theory is testable Falsifiability- requirement that scientific theory must be stated in a way that it can be tested, if we cannot test it there is no use The hypothesis must be clear Scientific standard 5: practical utility o Good objective theory is useful o Provides increased control/ knowledge Scientific standard 6: quantitative research o Scientists favor quantifiable experiments and surveys o Through experiments, scientists seek to establish a cause-and- effect relationship by manipulating an independent variable in a controlled situation in order to determine its effect on a dependent variable. Results are measured. When someone next to you is on the treadmill running very fast, you want to run very fast and try harder o Example experiment Do individuals exercise harder and longer if there is someone intensely exercising next to them? How might we test this? Meet someone and do not know if you could swear in front of them but once they swear you think it is okay to swear now o surveys rely on self-report data to discover who people are and what they think, feel and intend to do. What types of things do we survey? Favorite ice cream Major Any potential problems with self-report data? Might feel pressured to answer certain ways Might not put full effort towards survey o It is difficult to support cause and effect relationships with surveys, but survey data more closely resemble “real life” than experimentation does You said you intend to exercise, but will you really? Criteria for an interpretive theory o No universally approved model for interpretive theories, but some factors: 1. Create understanding 2. Identify values 3. Inspire aesthetic appreciation 4. Stimulate agreement 5. Reform society 6. Conduct qualitative research interpretive standard 1: new understanding of people o interpretive theory offers insight into human condition typically examines a one-of-a-kind speech community that exhibits specific language style o ex: where would we find a one-of-a-kind speech community? ECU- “purple” “gold” Boston Interpretive standard 2: clarification of values o Interpretive theory brings peoples values into the open Theorists acknowledge their own values Many theorists value individual liberty and equality Many interpretivist scholars value equality as highly as they do freedom o Why is it important to be open about your values? Interpretive standard 3: o Interpretive theory can capture reader’s imaginations o Critics job to spark appreciation Get people thinking Interpretive standard 4: community of agreement o Interpretive theory must be supported by other scholars o Must become the subject of widespread analysis o Why? Interpretive standard 5: reform of society o Interpretive theory often generates change Critical interpreters are reformers who can have an impact on society Critical theorists- scholars who use theory to reveal unjust communication practices that create or perpetuate an imbalance of power o Theory challenges cultural assumptions and generates alternatives for social action Interpretive standard 6: qualitative research o Interpretative scholars use words to support their theories Textual analysis- research method that describes and interprets characteristics of any text Ethnography- method of participant observation designed to help a researcher experience a culture Page 35 in book Exam is one week from today, exam is 1/28 11-12:15. o Music library o 40 questions o chap 1-4 o 55 minutes Chapter 4: Mapping the Territory what is communication? o Scholars hold widely divergent views as to what communication is and how we should use theory o Robert Craig suggests that communication should be viewed as a practical discipline; theory is developed to solve real world problems 7 traditions o Craig identifies seven established traditions of communication theory o these traditions group theories by what they do rather than by their philosophical assumptions The Socio-psychological tradition o Looks to predict and control human interaction o Assumes that human behavior is cause, can be predicted and discovered by careful observation o Highly objective relies on systematic testing and observing o Theorists check data through surveys or controlled experiments, often calling for longitudinal empirical studies What is a longitudinal study? observational research method in which data is gathered for the same subjects repeatedly over a period of time. Why is it good? To see if anything changed What would it look like? Sample over and over again to see if things are changing The cybernetic tradition o Communication as a system of information processing o Communication is the link among system parts- it is what connects system elements to one another o These theories look at how to refine and improve communication by balancing predictability and uncertainty Rhetorical tradition o For rhetorical scholars the communicative world is full of texts to analyze o The focus is on “public address” which finds it home in public speaking o The rhetorical tradition is highly interpretive and seeks “how” messages are aesthetically and practically designed o Features of the rhetorical tradition: Speech distinguishes humans from other animals A confidence in the efficiency of public address A setting of one speaker addressing a large audience with the intention to persuade Politics Infomercial The semiotic tradition o Semiotics- study of verbal and nonverbal signs that stand for something else o Focuses on the sharing of meaning/ communicating via “signs” o Signs are not connected to the external world but used to represent it for people Words are a special kind of sign known as a symbol o Meanings don’t reside in words or other symbols, but in people Meaning is learned with culture o The tradition is highly interpretive (everyone may have different meanings for the same sign) How does this influence communication? Miscommunication o Communication creates reality and allows us to participate in that reality o Culture produced and reproduced as people talk Sapir-Whorf hypothesis Sapir-Whorf hypothesis o The hypothesis has two versions 1. Linguistic determinism we are prisoners of our native language, unable to think certain thoughts or perceive in certain ways because of the grammatical structure and lexicon of our language language influences how we see the world around us 2. Linguistic relativity the grammar and lexicon of our native language powerfully influences but does not imprison our thinking and perception linguistic determinism is generally unsupported thought can exist without words to describe it anyone ever had a feeling/ experience they were unable to put into words? o Love o Living with depression/ anxiety The socio-cultural tradition o It is through language that reality is produced, maintained, repaired and transformed o Persons-in-conversation co-construct their own social worlds How is this accomplished? What does it look like? The critical condition o Critical theorists challenge three features of contemporary society 1. The control of language to perpetuate power imbalances 2. The role of mass media in dulling sensitivity to repression 3. Blind reliance on the scientific method and uncritical acceptance of empirical findings. o There is no objective truth- even “objective” science is value- laden and has its own biases o Communication is the tool to both create and undo inequity Lack of fairness or justice The phenomenological tradition o Communication is the experience of oneself and other in interaction o Experiences are individual and unique Peoples perceptions and interpretations of their own subjective experiences is important Why? Might give you a different outlook on the experience o Experiences (and therefore meanings) can only be shared through “dialogue” where the main focus is to get to know one another o Phenomenology refers too the intentional analysis of everyday life from the standpoint of the person who is living it o Phenomenological tradition seeks to answer two questions 1. Why is it so hard to establish and sustain human relationship? People change Lack of communication 2. How can this problem be overcome? Being honest GET STUDY GUIDE ON BLACKBOARD
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