Communication Research Methods (Comm 88) Lectures 4 & 5
Communication Research Methods (Comm 88) Lectures 4 & 5
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Date Created: 05/01/14
Lecture 41514 Variables 0 Independent xed predictor I In case of Exercisel example Hypothesisl is independent Variable 0 Dependent Outcome I In example the scores of student recall Different methods for different hypotheses 0 SurveyCorrelational Research eg Researcher A I Test correlational hypothesesRQs mere relationshipassociation Measure some Variables amp relate them compare existing groups etc I Great for extemal Validity Ability to generalize results to other people andor normal life settings I Poor for causality Measuring factors simultaneously cannot tell which came first 0 Experimental Research eg Researcher B I Tests causal hypothesesRQs Manipulate Vars grounds control everything else and measure effects eg Researcher B manipulated amount of Violence seen I Great for intemal Validity basically means causality Ability to establish that X causes Y rules out other explanation I Poor for generalizability The Research Process cont Defining concepts and Variables Variables in Experimental Research causal hyps 0 Independent Variable IV I The cause in causeeffect relationship I Variable manipulated by researcher 0 Dependent Variable DV I The effect or outcome I Variable affectedchanged by the IV Example hypothesis 0 Greater physical attractiveness will create impressions of greater friendliness I Is suggesting causal relationship IV physical attractiveness eg manipulate level of attractiveness DV impressions of friendliness eg ratings on friendliness scale I Ciquot be causeeffect so IV considered a predictor variable DV is what is being predicted by the IV sometimes called criterion variable Example hypothesis 0 Stronger an identity predicts greater participation in online fan forums I IV fan identification eg score on identification scale I DV fan forum participation eg measure how often people post or report reading posts etc I Could the IvsDVs be other way around Yes Not manipulating relegating cause but as researcher get to decide which is which depends on how study is set up De ning ConceptsNariables 0 Conceptual de nition I A working de nition of what the concept means for purposes of investigation usually based on theoryprior research Example variable fear what is it 0 Feeling unsafe reaction to threat possibly evolutionary in nature adrenaline rush from euphoria of not dying needs to be de ned further 0 Operational de nition I How exactly the concept will be measured in a study Eg fear de ned as sharp heart rate increase combined with nonverbal reaction Types of Measures 0 Physiological measures IE BP brain imaging Cortisol stress hormone even glycosulated hemoglobin scores for diabetes 0 Behavioral measures I IE Nonverbal gestures timemoney spent actual posts on social media 0 Selfreport measures I IE items on questionnaire Lecture 41714 Levels of Measurement Nominal categoricaldiscrete 0 Variable measured merely with different categories works best with separate groupings I IE yes or no Qs gender mf ethnicity TV violence rewardedpunished TV use hilo 0 Categories must be mutually exclusive Subjects cannot pick both I check all that apply just a way of asking many YN questions 0 Categories must be exhaustive All possible options must be offered should not force agreement with wrong answer that doesn39t re ect subject39s information 0 Nominal measures are for comparing differences Ordinal 0 Variable is measured with rank ordered categories I IE Rank top 5 favorite TV shows rank most to least important political issues I not very useful compared to Nominal Interval 0 Variable is measured with successive points on a scale with equal intervals aka equidistant points I IE Olympic medalists may win Silver but could have been only 1 point behind gold no way to tell how far apart Interval accounts for differences on continuum IE measure on immigration policy opinion US should build a fence along border Strongly oppose l 2 3 4 5 strongly favor Numbers themselves are just relative to each other Strongly oppose 2 l 0 1 2 strongly favor same scale as prior above 0 0 does not mean nothing here still represents a measurement vs ratio Ratio 0 Interval measurement with a true absolute zero point I Nothing has been measured yet absence of data I IE Time in hours weight in lbs age in years etc I IE Test scores if from 0 possible SAT not ratio bc you get points for signing name 0 means nothing in all these cases Interval and ratio measures are continuous variables vs difference of nominal and ordinal 0 Allow continuoustype hypotheses the more X the more Y etc I IE misunderstanding in This Is Spinal Tap with amp going to 11 Measures should capture variation 0 Use continuous vars for DV39s where possible have good conceptual fit with variables in the HypsRQ39s 0 Conceptual and operational definitions should be answered or reasonable to attempt by measurement minimize potential social desirability effects 0 Lying exaggeration political correctness Using Questionnaire Items as Measures Common for IV39s and DV39s in surveys Common for DV39s in experiments IV is a manipulation Types of Questionnaire Items 0 Openended I Respondents give their own answers to Qs 0 Closedended I Respondents select from list of choice exhaustive and mutually exclusive Some closedended formats 0 Likerttype items I item just 1 unique thing on survey or to make up parts of variable not always Q I Respondent indicate their agreement with a particular statement IE Parents should talk openly about sex with their children Strongly disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly agree Have to know what you want high scores to represent can format results in such a way Other response options also possible opposefavor not at allvery much almost neveralmost always 0 Semantic Differential I Respondents make ratings between two opposite bipolar adjectives I IE My best friend is IntelligentUnintelligent I Can reverse code numbers to make easier to read again what you would want your high scores to re ect IE high score warmer more intelligent