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Comm402 Exam 1 ReviewDefining TheoryTurner & West: an abstract system of concepts and their relationships that help us understand a phenomenonCommunication Phenomena- the thing you are studying/theorizingo How do people deal with holding multiple, inconsistent beliefs? (Cognitive dissonance)o How do people adjust their communication behaviors based on the identity of their conversation partner? (Communication accommodation theory)o How do groups make decisions in high- pressure situations? (Groupthink)Concepts - labels for the most important element in a theory o nominal concepts (theoretical definition)o real concepts (operational definitions)Relationships- how concepts in a theory are combinedo X leads to Yo X increase Yo X decreased YGoals of Theorycan clarify the definition of theory by understanding its purposes - Describe- (to understand) to understand something, what it is, what is going on- Explain- how and/or why - Predict- what could happen in the future; to predict something based on patterns suggested by the theory- Control/change- able to effect social change or empowerment… goal that perhaps a social scientist would have… ultimate goal to change behavior; social change (What should happen in terms of behavior)—under critical theory (epistemology) o rhetoricians are mostly concerned with control/social change variable because they are interested in change in society Theory ComponentsConcepts- labels for the most important elements in a theory- concept often has a definition that is unique to its use in a theory, which differs from how we would define the word in everyday conversation- always the task of the theorist to provide a clear definition of the concepts used in the theory- constructs- ideas, abstract, conceptual, not concrete, cannot be measured (is this same as nominal concept?)- variables- some aspect of what is being studied that is actually measuredTheoretical Statements (e.g. hypotheses)- Concepts (specifically variable, constructs are not something that can be measured)- Linkages (links between the variables)o Theoretical- why are you even proposing that these two variables are linked in the first place; the reason/mechanism by which you are even proposing that these two things are related to each other o Operational – how are you going to measure that, what’s the relationship going to look like; predicting the pattern of data if theoretical linkage is trueTypes of variable roles and linkages- control variables- what you are comparing to- contingent conditions (moderation)- relationship between one variable and another (A and B) turns our that the relationship between A and B depends on the level of some other variable Co ex. relationship between number of drinks you consume and how drunk you are, outside variable (how tall you are, boy or girl, if you have never drank before, if you drink all of the time) then the result would be different o want to choose the contingent conditions that really matter, really change the relationship significantly - intervening variables (mediation)- variables that come between the cause and the effect C comes between A and B, so it would be A C B (mediator come between median)Evaluation of TheoryScope- refers to the breadth/range of communication behaviors covered in a theory- good theory has adequate scope- a good theory is broad enough to explain a lot of concrete communication events, but not so broad as its trying to do too muchLogical Consistency- the use of internal logic in the theoretical statements—does it makes sense? should provide good explanations that show how concepts work together and result of their interactions - clear and not contradictory? how valid is theory?- is it a good argument? will other people ready you argument and believe and understand it?- quality of argumentParsimony- simplicity of the explanation provided by the theory—frugality with words- good theory explains a lot in a few words- contain the number of concepts necessary to explain the phenomenon Utility- theory’s usefulness or practical value - do people care? will it be used?Testability (falsifiability)- our ability to test the accuracy of a theory’s claim- theories must be able to be proven wrong… if you can’t prove it wrong how can you prove it right- develop theories that can be tested Heurism- refers to the amount of research and new thinking stimulated by the theory- research will be retested/regenerated again by other researchers- must be something people care about/ want to understand Test of Time- durability over time- must withstand scrutiny and have value/utility over time typology- the study of types, categorizing and describing a bunch of stuff (list of defining characteristics)- telling what a thing is like—a list or characteristics- fits under the level of describe for goals of theory- ex. Darwin set out to do something (Categorize finches on an island) was just creating a typology, but then it led to more; Human behaviors can be categorized by characteristics Metatheory- theory about theory - [meta] means something about itself - perspectives/approaches (e.g. covering law perspective) research traditions (E.g. into-processing paradigm) theories (e.g. cognitive dissonance) [from broad to narrow scope) paradigm- intellectual traditions (way of viewing the world) that ground specific theories - a worldview underlying the theories and methodology of a particular scientific subject- “grand models” or sets of theoretical assumptions shared by many theories—generally accepted by the scientific community at large- a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations are the experiments performed in support of them are formulated - your way of viewing the world affects the values, goals, and scholarly styles of researchers- offer general ways of viewing human communication; theories are the more specific explanations of a particular aspect of communication behaviors - ex: feminism, constructivism, Marxism (paradigms guide researchers’ beliefs about the world)- paradigms differ in their metatheoretical assumptions about the nature of the social world and the role of the researcher in the research process Metatheoretical Assumptions:paradigms revolve around three areas, representing three philosophical questions concerning the research enterprise Ontological- questions about the nature of reality/human

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UMD COMM 402 - Exam 1 Review

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