New User Special Price Expires in

Let's log you in.

Sign in with Facebook


Don't have a StudySoup account? Create one here!


Create a StudySoup account

Be part of our community, it's free to join!

Sign up with Facebook


Create your account
By creating an account you agree to StudySoup's terms and conditions and privacy policy

Already have a StudySoup account? Login here


by: Aaron Notetaker
Aaron Notetaker

Preview These Notes for FREE

Get a free preview of these Notes, just enter your email below.

Unlock Preview
Unlock Preview

Preview these materials now for free

Why put in your email? Get access to more of this material and other relevant free materials for your school

View Preview

About this Document

Introduction to Communication Theory
Jessica Rack
Class Notes
25 ?




Popular in Introduction to Communication Theory

Popular in Communication Studies

This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Aaron Notetaker on Friday March 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Comm3007 at University of Cincinnati taught by Jessica Rack in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Communication Theory in Communication Studies at University of Cincinnati.

Similar to Comm3007 at UC

Popular in Communication Studies


Reviews for sample


Report this Material


What is Karma?


Karma is the currency of StudySoup.

You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!

Date Created: 03/04/16
What is a theory? -naïve theories--Why are men/women bad drivers? Why is facebook/pinterest/twitter so popular? Why is a university education so expensive? Why do only creepy guys / scary girls hit on you? Theories are EXPLANATIONS. They are not “done.” The theories we cover in this class deal with human behavior. People do things, say things, act in certain ways. We use theories to understand WHY they said that, did that, or acted that way. Theories are never complete or absolute. For any given behavior, there can be multiple theories (explanations) as to why it happened. A set of hunches--They are explanations that are informed; beliefs about why something happens the Q way it does. Theories are not isolated ideas. Theories have multiple interrelated ideas or concepts organized systematically Before you can make a theory, you must read, test, observe, talk, explore, etc. Because multiple theories can explain the same behavior, you should know other theories in your field. Theories grow and change through testing and interpretation. Theories are systematic There is structure and order to a good theory. Concepts and ideas are organized in a manner that allows people to see interrelationships. There is an overarching framework that shows patterns, relationships, causes and effects, etc. Theories are explanations based on assumptions made about the world Meta-theory: Theorizing about theory. Examines the assumptions about individuals, the world, knowledge, values that are inherent in theoretical explanations. Why are you in college? Communication is the relational process of creating and interpreting messages that elicit a response. Therefore, theories about communication aim to explain Messages Message creation Message interpretation The relational process Responses message For communication scholars, the term “message” is very inclusive. Spoken words Songs Books Videos Transcripts Nonverbal behavior Television and movies Text messages Photographs Message creation Communication theory tends to focus on conscious message creation. We sometimes communicate mindlessly Theories focus on how we make conscious choices to select certain words, plan for contingencies, craft messages, which medium we choose, etc. These mindful choices allow us to use different messages to achieve different goals. Also called “Message Production” Message interpretation  Words (and behaviors) have no absolute meaning.  Denotative meaning  Connotative meaning  We typically act and respond based on connotative meanings.  Even the exact same words can have multiple interpretations.  “Where were you?”  “I asked you to close the door.”  One of the biggest challenges of communication is when people interpret messages differently than the creator intended.  Also called “Message Reception” A relational process process • Messages can only be understood as part of a sequence • There is no real starting or stopping point Relational • Requires 2+ people • The process of speaking words changes the nature, quality, stability, etc., of relationships Elicit a response  Responses can be cognitive (thoughts), emotional, behavioral (actions), or verbal.  Even “No response” can have meaning.  We often plan for a particular response when we are planning and creating our messages  Those conversations you go through in your mind several times before you actually have them. Metatheory: Assumptions of Theory Objective and Interpretive Scholarship  Objective Scholarship: Scientists, empiricists, social scientists, post-positivists, objective scholars  View research similar to how you learned in your physical science classes – the scientific method  Scientists try hard to describe objective reality  Humanistic/Interpretive Scholarship: Rhetoricians, critical theorists, humanists, post modernists, etc.  They study what it is like to be another person in another time and place Metatheoretical Assumptions  Metatheory = theory about theory  Ontology asks “What is the nature of reality?”  Epistemology asks “How do we know what we know (if we know it at all)?”  Axiology asks “What is the role of values in research?”  Additional considerations  Methodologies – How do we do research?  Purpose – what is the ultimate goal of research? Ontology: What is the nature of reality?  Objectivists  View reality as existing objectively. There is one singular reality that we all experience in the same way.  Human nature is largely determined by outside forces. Behavior is caused by heredity, the environment, Interpretivists  There are multiple realities in the world. They are socially constructed through the interaction of individuals  Human nature is largely determined by free will, conscious choice, voluntary action  social causes, and other stimuli. Epistemology: How do we know what we know (if we know it at all)? Objectivists  Truth (singular) can be observed through our five senses  Reliance on the scientific method and experimental research  Use of experiments allows the researcher to control certain variables to uncover the Truth  Interpretivists  There are multiple truths that are created through interaction; we learn about them through the experience of trying to understand the process or experience.  Knowledge is created by questioning your own experiences  Use interpretive methods (described later) to study artifacts in their natural setting and to discover the meanings others bring to them Axiology: What is the role of values in research?  Objectivists  Research is value-free. It describes what “is,” not what “should be.”  The researcher’s own experiences, biases, beliefs, and position in life do not influence the process or outcomes of research.  Emphasis is on remaining neutral; belief that no matter who is doing the research, the outcomes will be the same.  Ultimate values: Objectivity and Effectiveness (successfully communicates ideas, information and meaning); Interpretivists  Research is always value-laden. You cannot separate what “is” with what “should be” or “could be.”  The researcher’s own experiences, biases, beliefs, and position in life inherently influence the process and outcomes of research.  Emphasis is on identifying and acknowledging one’s own subjective values, intuition, values, and biases  Ultimate values: Emancipation (liberation; social relevance) and Participation (everyone has input, encourages differences and independence); Science for the sake of benefitting society  Science for Science’s sake Methodologies – how do we do research?  Objectivists (Quantitative)  Experiments, Surveys, Observational studies  Focus on numbers – trying to pin down exact realities  Correlations, cause and effect, comparison of differences  Interpretivists (Qualitative)  Textual Analysis, Case Studies, Ethnography, Interviews, Focus Groups, Introspection  Focus on meaning and significance Purpose: What is the ultimate goal of research?  Objectivists  Universal Laws (Rules) of human behavior  Testable hypotheses  Generalizability (different people, places, etc.)  Identification of associations/causes-effects between variables  Prediction of future events  Control of future events  Interpretivists  Understanding of a specific communication text within a specific context  Explores “webs of meaning”  Deep understanding of a single or small number of cases  Identification of values and meanings  Evaluation – making judgments  Ends of a continuum – many theories fall somewhere between  Few theorists are strict determinists or free will  The context of study will sometimes shape your position  Good theorists are well versed in both camps  Methodologies are tools – just because they are associated with one theoretical perspective, you might still use them


Buy Material

Are you sure you want to buy this material for

25 Karma

Buy Material

BOOM! Enjoy Your Free Notes!

We've added these Notes to your profile, click here to view them now.


You're already Subscribed!

Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'

Why people love StudySoup

Steve Martinelli UC Los Angeles

"There's no way I would have passed my Organic Chemistry class this semester without the notes and study guides I got from StudySoup."

Janice Dongeun University of Washington

"I used the money I made selling my notes & study guides to pay for spring break in Olympia, Washington...which was Sweet!"

Jim McGreen Ohio University

"Knowing I can count on the Elite Notetaker in my class allows me to focus on what the professor is saying instead of just scribbling notes the whole time and falling behind."

Parker Thompson 500 Startups

"It's a great way for students to improve their educational experience and it seemed like a product that everybody wants, so all the people participating are winning."

Become an Elite Notetaker and start selling your notes online!

Refund Policy


All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.