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Week 7 notes: comm 150

by: Alyssa Notetaker

Week 7 notes: comm 150 Communication Studies 150

Alyssa Notetaker
GPA 3.8
Methodologies in Communication Research
PJ Lamberson

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Methodologies in Communication Research
PJ Lamberson
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alyssa Notetaker on Sunday November 15, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Communication Studies 150 at University of California - Los Angeles taught by PJ Lamberson in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 75 views. For similar materials see Methodologies in Communication Research in Communication Studies at University of California - Los Angeles.

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Date Created: 11/15/15
Week Seven Lecture 12 Secondary Data Using Available Data Reading Sources of available data not mutually exclusive Public documents Private documents Mass media Physical nonverbal materials Social science data archives Public Documents and Official Records Vital statistics 0 Data on births deaths marriages divorces etc Census data 0 Can aggregate the data to describe units other than individuals such as geographic units etc 0 Manuscript census individual census records released to the public after 72 years I Ex Public Use Microdata Sample Private documents Letters diaries business personnel and sales reports inventories tax reports Harder to get but very rich in information Mass Media Newspapers magazines TV radio films etc Can analyze verbalwritten and visual content 0 Ex comics advertisements 0 Ex Study coding advertisement images to examine views of women I The feminine touchquot in ads woman touching self in an unnatural way or to caress an object I Ritualization of subordination I And 7 more categories Tracked the increase and decrease in occurrences of each category Physical Nonverbal Evidence Art clothing household items artifacts etc Can give valuable insights into past civilizations Social Science Data Archives Repositories of data collected by various institutions agencies and researchers Advantages of using available data Nonreactive measurement 0 No chance that changes in behavior will occur due to subjects awareness that they are being studied because you re studying them indirectly 0 Some available data is still reactive like autobiographies or surveys Analyzing social structure 0 Available data enables researchers to analyze larger social units rather than on individual behaviors and attitudes Studying and understanding the past 0 More accurate to use records than older people s memories or guessing Understanding social change 0 Can look at long time spans and large amounts of data Studying problems crossculturally Improving knowledge through replication and increased sample size 0 Increased sample size in effect replicates observations Savings on research costs 0 Cheaper less time and personnel 0 Costs vary depending on the nature of the research though General methodological issues in availabledata research Searching for and procuring available data 0 Hard to find relevant data and get permission to use it I Tip let the research problem or hypothesis serve as a guide to appropriate sources I Look for research by previous investigators I Look for data mandated for unrestricted public use Measurement of key concepts 0 Available data will often not be ideally suited to your research question 0 So develop creative measures that approximate variables of interest I Find proxy indicators of what you re looking for Data evaluation and adjustment 0 Researcher must always with available data reconstruct the process in which the data was assembled I Become aware of the possible errors biases limitations and validity of the data 0 Check authenticity of documents 0 Check arguments for confounding variables that weren t taken into account as well as for endogeneity 0 Check accuracy and consistency of the data Assessment of data completeness 0 Remember I Selective survival some objects and so data survive longer than others I Selective deposit systematic biases in the content of the evidence that is available people s values and beliefs dictate what they do or don t set down in writing selective editing and destruction of information Historical v Content analysis Many ways to analyze data o What technique researchers use depends on data sources statistics mass media communications historical documents Historical Analysis 0 Descriptive and analytical history 2 of the ways to evaluate evidence 1 Descriptive focuses on the accuracy and completeness of the description of unique complex events 2 Analytical history use of historical events to develop a generalized understanding of the social world 0 Parts of historical analysis Reconstruction of past events including accurate descriptions of what happened Applications of a general theory to a particular historical cases focus on how the theory applies Tests of explanations of historical events which examine why a particular event occurred The development of causal explanations of historical patterns which also analyzes why events occurred but seeks a more general understanding of social phenomena The use of history to understand the present or explain how and why particular phenomena came to be 0 Handling documentary evidence 2 categories of documents Testimony 0 1st person accounts 0 Primary v secondary sources I Primary is preferred Firsthand accounts eyewitnesses or participants as opposed to indirect evidence Social bookkeeping 0 Accounts of organizations 0 Historical interpretation Looking for ways to understand the past Interpreting evidence to find a more general theory to apply to social relations Historical events subject to multiple varying interpretations more than one of which may be valid Content Analysis 0 A set of methods for analyzing the symbolic content of any communication Idea to reduce the total content of a communication to a set of categories that represent some characteristic of research interest Can look at verbal and nonverbal materials 0 Steps I Selecting and defining content categories I Defining the Unit of Analysis I Deciding on a system of enumeration Timespace measures column inches hours of TV etc Appearance does the main character seem weak or strong Frequency Intensity I Carrying out the analysis Social Simulation Reading Sociologists often model social processes as interactions among variables 0 Alternate approach modeling social life as interactions among adaptive agents who in uence one another in response to the in uence they receive I An agentbased model ABM I Show how local interactions can show a global pattern Areas of study diffusion of information emergence of norms coordination of conventions participation in collective action Allow for a bottomup study plan 0 Look at microfoundations of interpersonal relations and individual attributes o 9 See a larger global pattern where the patterns of interest are more than the aggregation of individual attributes bridges micro and macro levels Shift from quotfactorsquot to quotactorsquot in computational sociology around 1980 o Agentbased modeling as opposed to computer simulation I Bases theories of larger social phenomenon on what you see at the individual local level 0 Context advent of personal computers in 1980s 0 Assumptions ABMs impose I 1 Agents are autonomous I 2 Agents are interdependent I 3 Agents follow simple rules I 4 Agents are adaptive and backwardlooking 0 Computer simulation v ABMs I Computer simulations value depends on predictive accuracy forecasting I ABMs do thought experiments more concerned with theoretical development and explanation than with prediction Most ABMs focus on the selforganization of social structure and the emergence of social order Recent contributions on the emergence of social structure out of local interaction 0 ABM studies I Social in uence and mimetic divergencequot It would make sense for people to copy the fittest but actually people remain diverse 0 Why Mimetic divergence 0 Local in uence people become more similar with more interaction and homophily more likely to interact with similar others I And that local convergence global polarization I 4 network properties have been shown with studies to promote inhibit cooperation and participation in collective action Relational stability 0 Ongoing relationships lengthen the shadow of the futurequot Network density 0 The coordination complexity of cooperation increases with the number of social ties Homophily 0 Agents tend to interact with partners who use similar strategies Transitivity 0 An agent s partners tend to interact with each other This in turn affects I Diffusion of reputations I Bandwagons caused by threshold effects I Monitoring and enforcement of conformity to prosocial norms Why use ABMs o 1 Focus on dynamic social networks that shape and are shaped by agent interaction 0 2 Perform virtual experiments to test macrosociological theories Tips 1 Start it simple 2 Avoid reliance on biological metaphors 3 Experiment don t just explore 4 Test robustness 5 Test external validity 6 Test domain validity 7 Bring factors back in OOOOOOO I Causal processes are effected by individual choices first manipulate agent attributes to see what happens I Then bring back in factors as experimental manipulations to shift from studying microfoundations to studying macro dynamics Lecture What ifquot segregation simulation Even with 30 I m happy when 30 of my neighbors are the same race the aggregation appears Not this led to segregation but could potentially does Social simulation method often seen as an alternative for theoretical mathematical way allows to conduct experiments with ethical dilemmas NetLogo Experiment The more a technology brand model is adopted the more attractive it is to future potential adopters consumers 0 Increasing returns may result from I Network externalities I Economies of scale I Social in uence VHS vs Beta Models of increasing returns to adoption have been applied most to technology selection These models predict that ultimately a single technology will capture entire market Increasing returns also operate in product choice eg music Markets tend to be shared by multiple firms eg at panel tv s personal computers web browsers we still end up lots of people choosing lots of different things Long tail fxaxk eg sale earthquakes Very different from distributions such as people s height Everyone has a different set of products that they are willing to choose to follow mainstream trend Spatial model of preferences Consumers and products are represented by points in a characteristics space People are willing to deviate to certain level and within that they choose what s popular eg shopping website filters top sellerquot


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