Theories of Communication (Comm 89) Midterm notes
Theories of Communication (Comm 89) Midterm notes
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Communication 89 Theories of Communication Lecture 4114 Course objectives To give you exposure to theories you39ll encounter in the upper division Helps decide if UCSB39s approach to Comm ts with your own goals strengths To help see how comm theories are important in daily life Lecture 4314 Mammoth Skiing incident Example of how an event can be explained or interpreted with multiples theories Theory any attempt to explain or represent a phenomenon 0 Attempt to explain events across always exceptions to rule however 0 We do not know if true or not I Social science only tests theories asks if evidence exists 0 More specifically I Set of concepts and their relationships IE Having attitude about something like enjoying french fries makes you want to eat them but also want to be healthy Theory of intention if you like them you will probably eat them Scholar must define what it means to like something I Informed by systematic observation Either through a direct study or previous research published 0 Pull research together into new theories often I To tell us how and why events pattems occur Causal chains can be studied explained Models can describe minitheories term sometimes interchangeable with theory Approaches to Communication Theorizing 0 Communication applies broadly to many fields but each field has unique traditions and research approaches 0 Paradigm I A scholar39s intellectual world view I About underlying principles that color perspective In uences the kinds of theories we construct In uences methods used to test these theories 0 IE Paradigm of preferring observation instead of cause effect can lead to biases 0 Science Stereotype of labcoats chemistry physics biology etc I Humanities Culture religion feminist studies theater languages english fme art etc I Communication falls around Social Science Blend of science and humanities in many respects Communication scholars 0 Some are social scientists 0 Others are rhetoricians or critics I Rhetoric often linked to speech looks like a literature course on speech art of communication not science 0 Some draw from both traditions 0 I Science has a different way of looking at human nature behavior than humanities Scienti c theorizing emphasizes determinism 0 lAsks what factors determine what one will do what is the cause of likelihood to behave in certain wayl 0 Explains social behavior in terms of causes and effects seeking pattems 0 Goal to identify probabilistic laws of behavior Humanistic theorizing emphasizes free will 0 lldentify describe individual choices rules 0 Humanists don39t care about constraints but in critical theories power constrains choice 0 Goal to develop understanding of each unique experience I Personal interpretations of themes in novels etc I For communication researchers uniqueness of relationships fandom etc 0 Q How do we know study human reality I Scientific theorizing Reality is out there to be discovered 0 Notion that patterns DO exist can be seen 0 Observe attitudes behaviors objectively without bias 0 Methods designed to control researchers personal biases 0 No one person or scientist is objective important to note I Humanistic theorizing Reality is created and interpreted 0 Researcher and subjects are inseparable 0 One is considered foolish to try to be objective 0 Subjective interpretations important understanding of experience as you see it I As opposed to this is what happens at ComiCon the view is this is how I see it at ComiCon I Neither approach addresses truth 0 I What do we do with researcher39s values I Science Keep values distantj I Humanism Bring values to bear especially critical theories Point to bring view to persuade others to share perception IE Feminism ethnic studies 0 No real reality all point of view as opposed to X y 2 what really happens in world Section 4414 Wii article Older people are interested in video games 0 lntergenerational bonding technology lots of theories at work I Media playing on stereotype of surprise at aged people playing video games I Analysis of article similar to paper assignment Of ce hours Tuesday 145245 Wednesday 300400 SSMS 4114 Lecture 4814 Where do Communication theories t into these extremes Revisiting paradigms Two broad perspectives 0 I Determinism LJi f I Objectivity I Keep researcher values distant 0 j I Free will I Subjectivity I Includeembrace researcher values Where do Communication theories t into these extremes O Note on text Don39t worry about 7 traditions in chapter 2 instead look at positivistic interpretive and critical in chapter 3 0 I Covering Laws Theories J 6 pB 0 Law is supposed to make you behave in certain way 0 In comm a law is something that is supposed to happen called probabilistic laws often 0 Typically use quantitative empirical methods to test hypotheses I AKA positivistic approach of testing predictions with data Examples Cog Diss cognitive dissidence theory URT uncertainty reduction theory EVT expectancy violation theory CAT etc I Rules Theories r u 2 Q i 2V K 7 4 7 4 P 7 lindividual contextsl 0 Look at particular social group family office etc see how rules informpressure their behavior how norms become rules gets perpetuated 0 lParadigm Draws upon both I Humanistic focus on choice amp researcher subjectivity I But also science regularities of observed behavior Typically use qualitative methods 0 AKA interpretive approach 0 Examples CMM coordinated management of meaning Structuration CPM Comm Privacy Mitigation I Systems Theories lAttempt to explain behavior as interdependent relationships within a 3 0 Interdependence Like biological ecosystem where animals rely on water for survival effecting growth of vegetation etc I Systems do adapt to change I In comm families studied in this way of everything or person39s actions having an effect on the system 0 lParadigm It depends on the particle theory it can draw from bothl 0 Uses qualitative and quantitative methods depends 0 Examples lnteractional View of relationships Organizational Networks etc I A 4 Type Critical theoriesmethods are purely in humanities which will not be covered here lRevisiting paradigms againl 0 2 Broad perspectives I Science vs Humanism 0 3 types of comm law theories I Laws vs Rules vs Systems 0 Chapter 3 adds 3 more terms approaches to research I Positivistic vs interpretive vs critical methods 0 Which goes with which I Positivistic methods go with laws amp science I Interpretive goes with rules which is part science part humanities I Critical methods are pure humanities doesn39t go with anything else I Systems depends Could go with multiple approaches 0 Theories organize experience I Focus attention on important conceptsfactorsvariables ignore the rest Often reductionistic 0 Means taking complex phenomena from real world and reduce them down to manageable set of factors or principles I IE in biology study of depression would look at physical factors comm would examine depression in terms of relationships affected 0 Theories stimulate and guide research I Point to ways to test predictions I Get modified to better explain the data Process is cyclical 0 Theories gt Hypotheses gt Observations Deduction I Sciencelaws theories positivistic methods quantitative 0 Observations gt Empirical Generalizations gt Theories Induction Grounded Theory I Rules theories interpretive methods qualitative I Systems theories can be either deductive or inductive Difference between deduction and induction 0 Look at where you start if making loose observations have to pull them in inductive 0 If not deductive Lecture 41014 I Example Monty Python Sketch I have a theory Testability Falsifiability 0 Testing a theory if wrong there needs to be a way to show it I Can the theory or its concepts really be put to an empirical test There must be some result that if you got it would show the theory is wrong I Falsi able Mice only eat cheese Data would show that even a single mouse eating lsomething else would prove this theory false Most theories do not deal in absolutes also not known to be wrong until proof decides otherwise IE Pluto theorized to be planet evidence produced that it does not fit legitimate description of planet so theory is proven incorrect I Nonfalsifiable Beings exist in outer space Just because none have been found doesn39t mean they don39t exist nothing will probably disprove or prove at very best support this 0 For many comm theories can only falsify certain parts I IE Attribution Theory Argues when people behave certain way need to explain it either intemally or extemally Can test the kinds of attributions people make int or ext Theory assumes we have need to explain but can we test this need Would the subject had explained unless asked 0 Cannot really test whether people make attributions on their own Explanatory Power 0 How well does the theory explain the phenomenon I Does the theory specify the causal mechanisms or other reasons for how variables fitl together What leads to this theory I Does the theory explain the complexities of the data I IE Why rob banks 39Coz thats where they keep the money As a theory has low explanatory power Predictive power 0 How well does a theory predict future eventsl I Given certain conditions can we expect certain behaviors Some exceptions like Relational Dialectics IE want to be totally connected to romantic partner but keep own self and autonomy is contradictory and cannot predict only states an aspect of relationships Excellent predictive power in Third Person Effect we think media have greater effect on others instead of self happens consistently is robust but little explanatory power because uncertain why lldeally a theory has decent explanatory and predictive power do not have to have one or othen I IE Groupthink only explains bad group decisions afterthefact low predictive power Scope and Boundaries 0 How much about communication does the theory cover I IE Initial encounters only Or relationships over time I IE Effects of TV violence Or mass media effects in general 0 Shouldn39t be too narrow but not too broad that it loses meaning I Would not be asked to make this judgement of scope on exam but criticisms of theories will be Parsimony 0 lHow elegantly simple is the theoryl I Not JUST simple must also be accurate with complexities but seek simplest ways to explain the most concepts IE e mc A2 I Does the theory account for all the factors but in a nice neat package I Too complicated to be of use IE giving unnecessarily complicated directions Heurism 0 lDoes the theory stimulate new research andor new thinking I Without heurism a theory can be like a failed TV show pilot seemed successful was given airtime ultimately left behind I As opposed to successful show with spinoffs like Cheers 0 IE Comm Accommodation Theory has stimulated study after study since 3970s 0 Once a theory is exhausted lack of new studies about it published Practical Utility 0 How useful is the theory I Some will argue knowledge is valuable for own sake but others need a theory to have real life application IE astronomy or philosophy39s practical utility I How well does the theory answer the so what question I Valuable for people39s lives For society policy makers etc Objectivity can get compromised in this area of eld Good theories don39t have all of these qualities but some or them or a version of them Lecture 41514 What these theories have in common 0 They come from the Social Cognition branch of social psychology I Focus on how people make sense of others and themselves I Such research on Attitudes Stereotyping Impressions etc 0 lCombine cognitive processes limitations of cognitive systeml I IE what happens when too many programs running on a computer can happen with brain mental capacity 0 lwith those processes with motivation factors goalsneedsrewardsl 0 to explain how we mentally organize info about others eg attributions impressions etc Conversation A Did you order it B Yeah it39ll be here in 40 minutes A Save me a slice 0 Even though unmentioned we know it is pizza I A schema is A mental structure for representing generic concepts stored in memory lGeneral schemas help us know how to behave 0 IE Schemas for doctor visit for restaurants holidays etc 0 Can be elaborate IE relationship schemas I Used to guide encoding organization and retrieval of information Created through repeated eXperiences Do schemas change 0 Relatively stable over time 0 New experiences often activate existing schemas in mind Automatic organization just kicks in happens in media interactions gender etc Need lots of contradictory evidence to radically alter a schema rare Subschemas common Schemas get modi ed through 0 Accretion New info ts with schemas gets added to existing Con rmation bias only attend to info that con rms to existing schemas 0 Tuning New info doesn39t t so either reject info or adjust x schema to t new info Subtyping creating exception category rather than alter the schema 0 Radical restructuring create new schema altogether 0 Stingy with how much thought to put in how much mental effort to spend I Main ideas 0 Humans have limited cognitive capacity 0 Strive to conserve mental effort Example problem Bob is in bar looking at Susan She is looking at Pablo Bob is married Pablo is not Is a married person looking at an unmarried person A Yes B No or C Cannot Tell Cannot tell Do not know anything about Susan But if Susan married would be A Yes If she is unmarried also A yes A Took lots of effort A 0 Use heuristics to process info rules used as mental shortcuts IE Availability heuristic Could not function without them judge frequencies etc based on what easily comes to mind available in memory rather than actual data Some questions 0 Q More likely cause of death Falling airplane or shark attack I A Airplane parts 30x greater 0 Q Claims more lives Lightning or tornadoes I A Lightning I IE Affect heuristic judge based on goodbad feeling emotional response Ex Perception of cup size could have fit more vs over owing Research on benefitsrisks IE something sounds great but could lose feel unlikely to lose because of how great I IE Consensus heuristic based on social climate Everyone else validates can inform IE need to know about a political issue ask knowledgable friend Sometimes bandwagon 0 We process systematically only when we must with conscious thought and effort Why important for communication Helps explain some communicative questions Like gender stereotypes in media What is Persuasion 0 Not just gaining compliance I Coercion threats force bait not persuasion 0 Persuasion involves I Attitude change Change in mental evaluation of something I Social in uences Change occurs because of social agents using communication 0 Main ideas I Dissonance like in music discord is a jarring clash of notes I In Theory distress comes from discord between beliefsattitudesbehavior IE smokers continue to smoke but know it is unhealthy 0 To persuade provoke dissonance then provide your way to reduce it can also change attitude of dissonance 0 Reducing dissonance Beforehand Try to prevent it Don39t be persuaded by avoiding it to begin with using Selective exposure attention 0 IE Animal charity commercials gt change channel as soon as it comes on After a decision Rationalize 0 IE Did I do the right thing doubts about marriages university choice etc Need reassurance remove nagging doubts Dissonance likely to be greater if 0 Important decision irreversible much timeenergy invested When feeling an inconsistency Example 0 Attitude You feel it39s good to be healthy 0 Belief You believe that ice cream is unhealthy 0 Behavior You eat lots of ice cream Shift the attitude belief or behavior to x inconsistency IE attitude ice cream is healthy enough with calcium belief convince self it is ok to be unhealthy behavior stop eating ice cream Add consonant cognitionattitudes IE this will be the only unhealthy thing I eat will exercise later Reduce importance of cognitionattitudebehavior IE being healthy is good but that39s not all there is to life When minimal justification for behavior gt more dissonance gt more shift IE Feel more dissonance if doing it for worthless reason like as a taste tester as opposed to legitimate justification like Grandma39s bday Criticism Are we really that uncomfortable with dissonance I Alternative explanation Aronson inconsistence is with behavior and selfconcept e g guilt Section 41114 Office Hours Tues 145245 Weds 34 SSMS 4114 Lecture 41714 Persuasion theories cont 0 Main ideas I Assumes people are motivated to hold correct attitudes Attitude how you feel so how can this be correct IE admitting guilty pleasures that are considered incorrect People vary as to how much they cognitively elaborate on persuasive messages IE how far indepth one will argue how much one thinks through pros and cons Different factors are persuasive depending on the amount of elaboration IA dual process approachzl 0 Two cognitive routes to persuasion I Central route Persuasion results from elaboration thoughtful consideration of argument I Peripheral route Persuasion is result of attention to superficial cuts in the contest heuristics mental shortcuts 0 Occurs along a continuum peripheral lt gt central What in uences amount of elaboration 0 Motivation to process messages I Personal relevanceinvolvement how much you care I Need for cognition personality factor need to analyze all of it 0 mg to process messages I Distractiontime constraints I Prior knowledgeunderstanding So Low motivation ampor ability gt decreases cognitive elaboration gt importance of peripheral cues lt leads to motivationability lt leads to cognitive elaboration from persuasive arguments being more important What factors have been found to be persuasive If centrally processing 0 Strong highquality arguments If peripherally processing 0 Source credibility likeability powerful language 0 Consensus of others 0 Message length lAttitude change From central processing 0 Lasts longer predicts better behavior 0 Resists counterpersuasion From peripheral processing 0 More temporary less predictive of behavior 0 Counterpersuasion susceptible 0 Criticisms Not very good at predicting persuasive effectiveness eg What IS a strong argument Are there really TWO paths CMM applied to persuasion Very similar to ELM O Also a dual process model I Processing labeled systematic central vs heuristic peripheral 0 Results for persuasion are similar Key differences are conceptualzl 0 Using heuristics is default to conserve mental effort I Is given for all the time unless forced otherwise 0 Processes are parallel not separate routes can do both at once I Answer to criticism Presenting on assumptions aspect Lecture 42214 Focus The attitudes we bring to persuasive encounters matter 0 Our basic position on any given issue 0 Egoinvolvement important personal relevance involved in identity of who you are I Digs in the anchor 0 Example range of attitude positions Gov39t In uence in the economy Far left total gov39t ownership socialism RejectjNoncomAcceptAcceptNoncomReject Far Right complete capital market no gov39t in uence anchor I Many varying attitude are anchored in between more involvement heavier anchor Latitudes 0 We have a range of positions relative to that anchor I Latitude of acceptance Positions close to that anchor I Latitude of rejection If message persuasive very difficult IE get a vegan to eat a burger I Latitude of noncommitment Don39t care Neutral 0 Role of egoinvolvement I Can affect all latitudes Getting persuaded involves two steps 0 l Perceptual judgement I You judge where argument is relative to your anchor I Biases in judgement Contrast effect 0 Tends to happen when you think message falls in rejection region gets contrasted further than it might actually be Assimilation effect 0 Think message is much closer to acceptance than it actually is Matter of pitching message in a way it is read o 12 Attitude Change shifting the anchor I If judge message to be within your latitude of noncommitment lat of acceptance too depending You shift anchor E your message I If judge message within your latitude of rejection No shift at all or anchor shifts away from message I How much anchor shifts depends on its distance from desired attitude Focus How messages can be used to make people resist persuasion to keep attitude from changing Inoculation make immune to persuasion 0 Metaphor of inoculation against disease build immune system antibodies by being giving strain of virusdisease 0 Ammunition against those who would persuade you Components 0 Threat Forewam upcoming challenge 0 Refutational Preemption Raise the challenges then refute them I Directly address and disprove attacks Messages getting to lots and lots of people TV movies radio Tweets viral intemet meme etc IE War of the Worlds broadcast in 1939 Early Theorizing Injected with media messages Audiences are disconnected masses In uence is 0 Powerful direct uniform Problem No research support basically a disregarded theory among researchers yet still part of pop lore 0 No longer a true theory just background on media theorizing Lecture 42414 0 Researchers found media effects to be mediated by I Individual amp social differences I Selectivity I Interpersonal relationships Focus what people Q with media rather than what media do to people 0 Assumes I Audiences are active I Make media choices to gratify needs 0 Examples of Uses amp Grats research I Identifying underlying motives For TV passing time escaping getting info loneliness etc For Facebook nding old friends maintaining relationships etc 0 Examining how motivesneeds relate to use IE recognition social entertainment needs gt usergenerated online content 0 Examining consequences of motives and use IE usergenerated content gt psychological empowerment 0 Criticisms I Reliance on selfreports of motives I Lack of coherent uni ed theory Focus relationship between individual media system and society often modeled in A shape 0 Adopts Uses amp Grats but adds to it I Agrees with the theory focuses on one use of it 0 For media Expectations for audience members amp institutional constraints 0 For individual Expectationsdemands for media satisfying needs goals Dependence varies based on 0 Individual needs I IE neighborhood on fire 0 Societal stabilitychangecon ict I IE war national story 0 Type of media use I IE social media dependence More dependence on media gt More important media become gt More in uence media have potential danger of effect Criticisms 0 Is there an ideal level 0 What are real consequences Lecture 42914 Criticism of social ills increased l960s 0 TV in every home by now big concem Methods amp statistics got more sophisticated to detect more subtle or indirect effects 0 By 90s intemet big concem 0 Now social media I IE interpersonal mass media theories must be adapted massaged Several different areas investigated 0 Socialpsychological effects individual thoughts leam from what you see emotional reaction etc 0 Broad cultural societal in uences exposure to a culture affecting everyone 0 PoliticalPublic opinion in uence Socialpsychological effects V s l l K Attention including features of show viewer skills Retention including repetition cognitive rehearsal Production including physical skills selfefficacy Motivation especially expectations for rewards vs punishments identification w model Lots of research support used as backbone for huge array of studies mostly for effects of TV violence Limited to shortterm effects on behavior Broad Cultural Societal In uences AMOUNT of TV counts most heavy vs light Heavy viewers display a mean world syndrome I lMainstreamingl TV homogenizes viewers Even willing to categorize as far as by genre l Added later bc researchers concerned w testing method due to causation 0 Could be viceversa fear of world is causing more TV viewing 0 Control for living in bad neighborhood causation disappears TV personal experience double dose of violence 0 Criticisms I Conceptual problems Fuzziness of de nitions terms IE what does resonance even really mean I Methodological problems Hard to use typical methods All correlational data cannot have causality so I Difficult to test How can this be precisely tested Availability heuristic Watching lots of same thing over is making it more available in memory IE see more murders think of more murders Lecture 5114 Special of ce QA 34pm SSMS 4117 TODAY Midterm All lectures readings through this Friday Not example article used for section exercise Not historybackground of theories in text About 3 questions per theory 45 q39s Don39t focus on term de nitions of book look for overlap For paper use PsychlNFO Googlescholar but log in via school So I Married an Axe Murderer clip super nice police Captain acts like movie cop to please of cerzl How do real police behave 0 Cultivation theory I Perception of being a cop vs reality of being a cop Captain would be considered a light viewer bc his attitude is of nonexciting reality 0 Soc Cog theory I Learning imitating because rewarded with respect enjoys helping his subordinates Captain would be considered susceptible bc he is familiar with archetype PoliticalPublic opinion in uence 0 Main premise I Media tell us not necessarily What to think but what you think about Media are many plural so lots of coverage on one story thus determines thought More coverage stronger the agenda is set 0 Citizen Kane If the headline is big enough an issue becomes news thus important 0 Research support for agenda setting I Match press agenda with public agenda Poll for public opinion Correlation problem like Cultivation Theory 0 Dilemma that because audience cares about issue it becomes newsimportant I Time series designs and experiments tool Can see if agenda is occurring over period I More recent developments Individual differences and issue differences 0 Some people39s agenda is set easily some set own agenda Control of agenda 0 Journalists themselves e g pack journalism I Now civic journalism of advocacy made to look objective 0 Govemment officials Priming effects 0 ls more powerful bc when issue is made important that is what people use as a benchmark for evaluation Framing 0 Kind of coverage spin bias is discussed Impact of new media eg blogs Twitter FB 0 People do not voice their opinions when they think their views are in the minority Why 0 Fear of isolation l Role of media 0 We gauge public opinion through media Spiral 0 Media along w interpersonal contacts tell us what opinions are popular 0 Those in perceived minority stay silent 0 Seems like majority is bigger than it is 0 Makes even more stay silent and so on 0 Always willing to ght even if in the minority