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Comm 88 Week 1 Notes (Mullin)


Comm 88 Week 1 Notes (Mullin) Comm. 88

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About this Document

These notes cover all lecture and section material discussed in week 1 of Comm. 88.
Communication Research Methods
Dolly Mullin
Class Notes
Comm 88, communication, Mullin, UCSB




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by on Friday April 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Comm. 88 at University of California Santa Barbara taught by Dolly Mullin in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see Communication Research Methods in Communication Studies at University of California Santa Barbara.

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Date Created: 04/01/16
Tuesday, March 29, 2016 Week 1 Lecture 1 - March 29, 2016 - Communication 88: Communication Research Methods • Review of basics and course objectives - Preparation for the major - Preparation for consuming (and creating) knowledge - Marketing and Entertainment - Ways of Knowing • Some “Truths” — How do you know? - Ex: “Vegetables are good for you” • Mom and dad tell us, professional advice from doctors and nutritionists, teachers, government sponsored programs • Personal experience - particular health outcomes (losing weight, acne, constipation) - Tricky… how can you definitely know the outcome was due to eating vegetables? Lecture 2 - March 31, 2016 - Ways of Knowing • Some “Truths” — How do you know? - Ex: “People who are similar to each other tend to link each other” • Learned in Comm. 1 from professor and textbook Observing other groups of friends or your own experiences with friends • - Are these ways of knowing good or bad? • Epistemology: the study of knowledge - Some “everyday” Ways of Knowing (and their problems) 1 Tuesday, March 29, 2016 • Method of tradition/tenacity (same thing, do not distinguish them) - Tradition (Thanksgiving; family tradition) • Truth that we take as knowledge is handed down over time (we may not even know where it stemmed from) - You know it’s true because it’s always been seen as true - Tenacity • Continuing or persisting to exist, determination - Commonly agreed way of doing things, unnecessary to change • Ex: lawyers and the court look at previous cases, use of the Constitution - Downside: may not be true or effective knowledge, must be open to overturning knowledge • Ex: waiting to get in the pool for an hour after eating - Handed down knowledge thought of as something to be true • Method of authority - We know something is true because somebody with credibility/authority tells us it is true (relying on an organization or an individual that we think should know) • Upsides: - Good way of receiving information from a credible source - Don’t have to take the time to figure something out ourselves - Can get all of the information you need from one place/person • Downside: - Credible sources still can be wrong - *Problem with BOTH methods of tradition/tenacity AND authority: authorities and handed-down truths can be WRONG* • Method of experience/observation - “See it to believe it” - it’s true because I witnessed/experienced it myself 2 Tuesday, March 29, 2016 • Surface-level version: Personal experience - Connecting causality of something in our brains (experiencing a stomach ache after going to a restaurant) • Problems: - Difference between correlation and causation - you don’t necessarily know it was causation (correlation = existence of a relationship or connection, causation = one thing makes the other thing happen) • More rigorous version: “Baconian empiricism” - Research studies with data in them (data = observations) - Empiricism: trying something ourselves to understand/observe it (when a mother tells a child not to touch the stove, the child touches the stove) • Problems: - Inaccurate observation (ex: mom says a woman’s hair is strawberry-blonde but you claim it was auburn) - Selective observation (ex: selectively picking out a car because you have interest in it and claiming you see these specific cars “everywhere”… also noticing patterns and things that don’t match those patterns) • Method of intuition/logic - Opposite of observation; you reasoned it out • Surface-level version: Common sense (DUH Way of Knowing) - “Of course people who are similar to each other like each other… DUH!” - Obvious, apparent, reasonable assumption • Problems: - Illogical reasoning (we often make leaps where we shouldn’t make leaps… making causation when in reality there are other possible explanations) - “Gambler’s Fallacy” = “I have a better chance of winning because I’ve been losing” 3 Tuesday, March 29, 2016 • More rigorous version: “Platonic idealism” - If A = B and B = C, then A = C • Problems: - Incorrect premises… what if A actually does not = B? Where are the premises from? - Fish swim, Kim Kardashian swims, therefore Kim Kardashian is a fish? • Problem for ALL OF THE ABOVE everyday ways of knowing (methods of tradition/tenacity, authority, experience/observation, and intuition/logic): - Overgeneralization • One instance of something and you automatically generalize it as a pattern - Ex: one crime occurs at a mall and you think it happens all the time - Everyday ways of knowing can lead to conflicting ideas about “truth” • Ex: long-distance relationships - “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” OR “out of sight, out of mind” • The Scientific Method - Combines “platonic idealism” (logic/intuition —> constructing theories) with “baconian empiricism” (observation/experience —> gathering data) - Communication Science: Use empirical observations to test theories about communication processes - Unique Characteristics of Science (how is “science” different from the other “everyday” ways of knowing?) • Scientific research is public - Published in peer-reviewed journals Reviewed with no guarantee to get published; logic/data is scrutinized and • may be outright rejected - Opportunity to replicate studies 4 Tuesday, March 29, 2016 • Since it’s out in publications, other scientists try it out and no one can replicate the study/experiment - Either it was a faulty finding or the original publicist lied… embarrassing! • Science is empirical - Conscious, deliberate observations • The studies are deliberately set-out in a way that we have control over what we are looking at - MANY observations • More observations and more studies on the same thing; solves the over- generalization problem • Science is “objective” - Control/remove personal biases - Explicit rules, standards, and procedures Section - March 31, 2016 - Brainstorming paper ideas: • Anonymity • Effects of college on relationships • Communication/relationship length on Tinder - Online/offline dating • Effects of the media on communication • Communication between people of different countries/origins - How to minimize effects of problematic communication • Communication within familial contexts (parent to child interactions) - Child order and parental communication - how it varies and what are it’s effects? • Change in online dating over time • Self-presentation on social media 5 Tuesday, March 29, 2016 • Positive/negative effects that social media can have on eduction -General review of lecture notes 6


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