UMD COMM 402 - Exam 2

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Lindsay Wolf COMM 402 Exam 2 Midterm Study Guide Concepts building blocks of theories They are abstractions that describe portions of reality It is a general name for specific instances of a phenomenon being described ex mass media use is an abstract concept that encompasses many different individual activities o Concept and construct may be used interchangeably Construct e g television exposure newspaper exposure Variables A measurable version of a concept or a construct that can take on two or more values it is ABLE to VARY Value some attribute category or quantity of a variable Nonvariables cannot be broken down into smaller parts NOT ABLE to VARY For a relationship between two concepts to exist each must be a variable There needs to be variability in the data in order to find relationships between two concepts Ex If you are stating something about women you need to include men so that there is something to compare it to In causal hypotheses there are independent and dependent variables Independent Variable the variable that is varied or manipulated by the researcher the presumed cause Dependent Variable the variable that is the response that is being measured the presumed effect Example IV knowledge of position attitude towards policies ability to handle conflicts DV commitment to position continuing position for 2 or more years Causal relationship 1 A relationship must exist Covariation 2 Changes in the IV must come before changes in the DV time order 3 Alternative explanations must be ruled out lack of spurious relationships Levels of Measurements Numerical Categorical discrete ON BOTTOM OF GRAPH o Cannot order the variables Discrete data is counted Ex The number of students in a class you cannot have half a student shoe size can only be whole or half sizes cannot be 5 345 for example Continuous o Continuous data is measured Continuous data can take any values within a range Ex A persons height can be a ton of different values not just whole numbers time in a race you can even measure it to be fractions of a second a dogs weight How much information Nominal o Refers to quality more than quantity It is a label ex Male Female Doesn t tell you more than that Ex Meal preference Breakfast lunch or dinner Ordinal Interval o Refers to order in measurement Indicates direction in addition to nominal information Ex Low medium high or faster slower get information about a category and you also get the order Ex Rank 1st place 2nd place last place o Provide information about order and possess EQUAL INTERVALS If we know that the distance between 1 and 2 is the same as the distance between 7 and 8 on our 10 point rating scale this is an interval scale It is a rating Ex Temperature a degree represents the same underlying amount of heat regardless of where it is on the scale The difference between 40 degrees F and 50 degrees F is the same as the difference between 20 degrees F and 30 degrees F Ex Rating this class on a scale from 1 5 Ex Time of day on a 12 hr clock Ratio o Possesses the qualities of nominal ordinal and interval scales but also includes a zero A point where none of the quality being measured exists Ex You can have some water in a cup or you can have no water in a cup With Ratio you can have a meaningful zero Ex Years of work experience number of children GPA N O I R hierarchy of how much information knowing the level gets you Dimensions factors o A concept is multidimensional if it has more than one aspect to it that are each free to vary somewhere independently o Dimensions are the different facets of a complex construct sometimes also called o Differences in dimensions may point out underlying discrete categories If you ask what a persons preferred media is vs saying media is multidimensional and I am going to come up with the different dimensions of it this second approach gets you more information What are you actually trying to figure out The preferred medium of media how likely are they to get new information from that medium of media You don t actually care which specific medium but you care about the info that you gather from finding out which medium Instead of asking someone how they get their news what you are really trying to get at is maybe transmission frequency with regards to how OFTEN news is updated and fresh for example Another example Personality The big 5 vs Meyers Brigg Theoretical Definition conceptual definition coveys the meaning we attach to the concept and may suggest indicators of it o Cognitive dissonance state of holding inconsistent beliefs Operational Definition Complete and explicit information about how to measure a concept how we define it for the purposes off the current study or how we operationalize the concept o OK we are interested in cognitive dissonance how do we measure it o Operationalize how are you turning your idea conceptual definition into a measurable observable thing Indicators ways of measuring a concept o Scales indexes o Variables Survey Operationalizations o The actual text of a survey question and the type of response it solicits o Open ended response Text what is your favorite TV show genre Numerical how many days per week o Multiple Choice o Scaled response Which of the following is your favorite TV show genre List of options Likert Scale Rate on a scale from 1 7 Semantic differential Good Bad Experiment Operationalizations o Trying to test between the manipulated changes o Manipulated Variables IV s the two or more different conditions that the participants are exposed to in order to test an effect e g assigning children to watch either a violent or non violent show the independent variables DS s and control variables o Measured variables Questionare questions as in surveys Measurements from computers or tools such as stopwatches scales rulers Psychological measurements such as heart rate EEG MRI etc Observational data coded Content Analysis Operationalizations o Content Variables not usually measuring participants but usually measuring media texts Specific code scheme developed to identify classify content o Noncontent variables measured as in other types of research Stuff that you are measuring that isn t part of your media research Drawing Concepts measures and linkages path models Concepts circles Mesaures boxes Linkages arrows Theoretical Statements statement about the value of or the relationship between variables you have multiple concepts how are you putting them together Hypothesis Assumption Proposition

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# UMD COMM 402 - Exam 2

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