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Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 Notes & Lecture notes!

by: maditaylor7

Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 Notes & Lecture notes! COM 3310

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These are notes I took from chapters 1 and 2 and then supplemented from Prof. Merle's lectures! They cover topics such as levels of measurement, methods of knowing, validity, independent and depen...
Communication Research Methods
Patrick Merle
Class Notes
levels of measurement, methods of knowing, validity, independent and dependent variables and concepts and constructs of research, levels of measurement methods of knowing, levels, Of, measurement, Chapter, 1, 2, research, methods, FSU, Professor, merle, Com, 3310




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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by maditaylor7 on Thursday September 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to COM 3310 at Florida State University taught by Patrick Merle in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see Communication Research Methods in Communications at Florida State University.


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Date Created: 09/22/16
 Chapter 1  INTRO o mass media: any form of communication that reaches a large number of  people including tv, radio, newspapers, magazines, internet, billboards,  films, recordings and books o research: an attempt to discover something  how to use research  methods and statistical procedure   when to use research methods and statistical procedures o algorithms: generation of statistical procedures or formulas made by the  researcher  answers research questions  The development of Mass Media Research o phases:  1. the medium itself  2. uses and users of the mediums   3. effects of the medium  4. how the medium can be improved o causes of development of mass media research:  WWI— understand the nature of propaganda   realization in 50s and 60s that research data are useful in  developing ways to persuade potential customers to buy products  and services  increasing interest of citizens in the effects of the media on the  public especially children  increased competition among the media for advertising dollars  Media Research and the Scientific Method o scientific research: organized, objective, controlled, qualitative or  quantitative empirical analysis of one or more variables  The Methods of Knowing o method of tenacity: follows something that is true because it has always  been true o method of intuition: a persona assumes that something is true because it  is “self­evident” or “stands to reason" o method of authority: belief in something because a trusted source, such  as a parent, news correspondent, or a teacher says its true o scientific method: approaches learning as a series of small steps  Characteristics of the Scientific Method o 5 basic characteristics to distinguish the scientific method  1. scientific research is public  2. science is objective— tries to rule out eccentricities of  judgement by researchers   3.  science is empirical — must be able to perceive and classify  what they study and reject metaphysical and nonsensical  explanations of events  constitutive definition: defines a word by substituting other  words or concepts for it  operational definition: specifies procedures that allow one  to experience or measure a concept  4. science is systematic and  cumulative — no study stands alone  attempt to search for order and consistency  form theories: a set of related propositions that presents a  systematic view of phenomena by specifying relationships  among concepts  law: a statement of fact meant to explain, in concise terms,  an action or set of actions that is generally accepted to be  true and universal  5. Science is predictive— relating present to future o Research Procedures  1. select a problem  2. Review existing research and theory when relevant  3. develop hypothesis or research questions  4. determine an appropriate methodology/research design  qualitative research: such as focus groups or one­on­one  interviews with small samples  quantitative research: such as telephone interviews in  which large sample are used to allow results to be  generalized to the population under study  5. collect relevant data  6. analyze and interpret the results  7. present the results in an appropriate form  8. replicate the study if necessary  Two Sectors of Research: Academic and Private o also called “basic” and “applied" o private research: nongovernmental companies or their research  consultants conduct this and is generally applied and used to facilitate  decision making o academic research: public research, generally don’t have specific  deadlines, less expensive  Determining Topic Relevance o Is the topic too broad? o Can this problem really be investigated? o Can the data be analyzed?  pilot study: a small sample used to test the research procedures  Law of the Instrument: a common error made by beginning  researchers— selecting a statistical method without understanding what the method produces o Is the problem significant— practical and theoretical value of question o Can the results of the study be generalized  external validity: must be possible to generalized the results to  other situations o What costs and time are involved in the analysis? o Is the planned approach appropriate to the project?  parsimony principle/Occam’s razor: principle attributed to  William of Occam stating that a person should not increase,  beyond what is necessary, the amount of entities required to  explain anything or make more assumption than the minimum  needed—simple research is best o Is there any potential harm to the subjects?  Internal Validity o internal validity: one asks does the study really investigate the proposed  research question o control over research conditions is necessary to enable researchers to  rule out plausible by incorrect explanations of the results o extraneous variable/artifact/confounding variable: any variable that  creates a possible but incorrect explanation of results o refer to these to make sure that there is internal validity in the  experiments they conduct:  1. history  2. maturation  3. testing  point of prior equivalency: the point at which the groups  were equal before the experiment  4. instrumentation aka instrument decay  5. statistical regression: in regard to outliers  6. experiment mortality: loss of subjects for some reason or  another  7.  sample selection  8. demand characteristics: subject’s reaction to experimental  conditions  cross validating: used to verify subjects responses;  answering the same question in different ways  9. experimenter bias— double blind experiments  10. evaluation apprehension: subjects are afraid of being  measured  11. casual time order  12. diffusion or imitation of treatments— people rubbing off on  each other during focus groups  13. compensation  14. compensatory rivalry: being different than others in control  group  15. demoralization: subjects lose interest   External Validity: o refers to how well the results of the study can be generalized across  populations, settings and time o to guard against external invalidity:  1. use random samples  2. use heterogeneous samples and replicate the study many times  3. select a sample that is representative of the group to which the  results will be generalized  4. conduct research over long periods of time  Presenting Results o replication: establishes scientific facts, should not be dependent on a  methodological factos o design specific results o sample­specific results o method specific result  Research Suppliers and Field Services o research suppliers: full service includes design of study, supervises data  collection, tabulates data and analyzes results o field services: specialize in conducting telephone interviews, mall  intercepts, and one­on­one interviews o incidence: describes how easy it is to find qualified respondents or  subjects for a research project(%)  gross: number of percentage of qualified respondents reached of  all contacts made  net: number of respondents who actually participate  CPI— cost per interview  Chapter 2  Concepts and Constructs o concept: expresses an abstract idea formed by generalizing from  particulars and summarizing related observations o construct: concept that has three distinct characteristics  abstract idea broken down into concepts  cannot be observed directly (abstract)  designed for some particular research purpose so that its exact  meaning relates only to the context in which it is found o variables: important because they link the empirical world with the  theoretical   Independent and Dependent Variables o discrete variable: includes only a finite set of values cannot be divided  into subparts  (cannot have 2.24 persons) o continuous variable: can take on any value and be broken down into  segments   (inches) o noise: all the variables that may creat spurious or misleading result  always present  Qualitative and Quantitative Research o triangulation: refers to the use of both qualitative and quantitative  methods to fully understand the matter of the research problem  The Nature of Measurement o researchers assign numerals to objects events or properties according to  certain rules o isomorphism: identity or similarity of form or structure  Levels of Measurement o nominal levels: all categories are exhaustive and mutually exclusive   no category is more important or higher rank/status/level of  another category o ordinal level: ranked along some dimension, such as from smallest to  largest o interval level: when all the properties of ordinal level is there with  inclusion of equivalence between points on a scale  temperature, no true zero o ration level: all from previous levels with the inclusion of a true zero  Measurement Scales o rating scales— things to consider in choosing what kind of scale to use  A scale with more points rather than fewer points allows for  greater differentiation on the item or items being rated  pretty much everyone prefer to use 1­10 scale — human nature  when using simple rating scales, tell the respondents that the  higher the number the more you agree/like o thurstone scales: also called equal­appearing scales; interval  measurement scale o guttman scales: also called scalogram, based on the idea that items can  be arranged along a continuum in such a way that a person who agrees  with an item or finds an item acceptable will also agree with or find  acceptable all other items that express a less extreme position o likert scales: mose common, strongly agree… strongly disagree o semantic differential scales: 7 point scale anchored by bipolar attitudes  Reliability and Validity o reliability: dependable and consistent over time o stability: the consistency of a result or of a measure at different points in  time o internal consistency: examine the consistency of performance among the items that compose the scale  split­half technique: there should be equal number of answers 1­5  as 5­10 o interceder reliability: is used to assess the degree to which a result can be achieved or reproduced by other observers  o face validity: achieved y examining the measurement device to see  whether, on the face of it, it measure what it appears to measure o predictive validity: checking a measurement instrument against some  future outcome assesses this o concurrent validity: closely related to predictive validity, however the  measuring instrument is checked against some present criterion o construct validity: the most complex, involves relating a measuring  instrument to some overall theoretic framework to ensure that the  measurement is logically related to other concepts in the framework


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