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COMM2001 September 30, 2013.docx
COMM2001 September 30, 2013.docx

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Carleton University
Communication Studies
COMM 2002
Heather Pyman

The Nature of Quantitative Methods The Stages of quantitative research • Theory/Research Question • Research design - survey • Devise measures of concepts - state • Select site and sample • Collect data • Code and analyze data • Write up We do the literature review to understand the theoretical perspectives • Lots of big research questions that start up at a conceptual level, we have to look at the literature and then test it out • Usually these questions become the basis of our research • What is the best design to answer the research questions? • How does civic participation relate to social participation? • Do we run experiments or run some sort of survey • Focus on these things as a social science • We work on research based on databases • Have to devise measures for these concepts "environmentalism, how do we measure it as a behaviour, are we going to ask direct or related questions to these behaviours? • Devise measures of these concepts, do a survey to devise measures of these concepts • Testable hypothesis where mathematically, we prove or disprove the connections between the processes that we believe to be true • Our hypothesis create our relationships and determine the basis for the mathematical basis • Once we get the data, we look at whether they are true or not true • How do we collect data and what kind of conclusions we can make • Nothing is true until proven to be true, we have to demonstrate that it is supportable through peer review info where other researchers can review the logic of your research and the process that we went through Elements: Literature Reviews: • What is a review of the literature? • Purpose • What scholarly through is on this topic? • What do we already know? • Becomes a critical analysis of what was done before • Begin to amass literature on the topic and generally on our research questions specifically • Synthesis coming from other discipline • Not just a summary, thinking about research questions and what helps to critically determine what is about that specific question/topic • If you were doing a paper on something other than participation, you would not be limited to just participation • A large portion is not specific to communication, it is different things that help us understand better • We have new information on this question because we've brought together a unique set of information • Bring a critical appraisal out of this work, bring together a unique set of journals, different articles to help inform us of this research question • We can say "the problem with author A is that they were not taking into account 'X,Y,Z'" • We could be looking at a research report done in society • This is possibly done in a different society where the culture is different • When we do literature reviews on papers that we are writing and why we are doing this, we should develop critical review of the research o Primary research • We must look at critical perspectives • Literature should be selected to relate to that specific question • How is research linked to research media • Should be able to synthesize the information we have • We begin to drill down and identify specifically how we are going to define the research in our hypothesise Concepts and their measurement • Literature has a research perspective background to it • Concepts - categories for the organization of ideas and observations - abstract • Building blocks of theory • Provide explanations of social phenomena • Represent social phenomena we want to explain or to be explained • Concepts with organization of ideas and abstracts • What does participation entail? • Social scientists have all kinds of concepts they are interested in studying • They are interested in studying things like social capital, participation, etc o Social capital; Idea that borrowing from economic ideas of that capital of the country, researchers have social capital where we can measure health of communities and countries based on the amount of social capital that the country has o Here we see measures, researcher wrote "Bowling alone"(Robert Putnam) -> as society is evolving, we can measure how the decline of health of communities not just in economic way, we can actually measure the social health of the country as well o Looking at the environment survey, environmentalism as a concept, we have to come up with a way to measure it, concepts are building blocks of the theories as large abstract ideas, pose interconnections -> how is this related to environmentalism o How is something like citizenship linked to participation or environmentalism? • We make connections • Hope to provide some explanations for this social phenomena • More connected to social media than other people in the traditional sense (Is it bad or good?) o Is there danger here? • Social and physical activities, are they good or bad things? • This is the kind of process on the conceptual level that researchers go through • How do we go about developing measures of them to go out and make observations in the social world? Operationalizing Concepts: • Produced by the operational definition of a concept • Common sense understandings of the form a concept might take • Concept may have different dimensions o Single indicator measures o Multiple-indicator measures • Idea of environmentalism • Could be defining environmentalism as; o a state of mind o A choice of activity • We need to define for ourselves what we are talking about when talking about environmentalism • Is this something that people think or do? • Are we considering that we have to look at both of these definitions of environmentalism together? o Is it a combination of what we think and do? • Come up with a common sense understanding o Come up with a number of different measures to come up with a different concept of it • There are a number of things that can be asked with a single indicator • Lots of demographics o Do not need to ask gender in more than one way o No longer a definition (simple one) of male and female • Complex concepts, a way to demise multiple measures of this concept as possible • Designed and collected with academic perspectives • Research was not done with particular research questions in mind • Not quite as multi-dimensional o Ex. Environmentalism -> recycling behaviour, do not ask how often do you recycle • Ask how often you recycle certain items, etc • Some other attitudes towards recycling o Ex. Citizenship -> related to health and dimensions of a country • Some countries we feel have a different perspective of what individuals in that society feel is their responsibility • If we measure citizenships, what would be our measure of citizenship in the country?  Ex. Age  Contribution to the country (economic, financial point of view)  Sense of nationalism  Closeness to the community  Ability to speak the language of the country  Birth (your nationality)  Voting  Travel representation  Sovereign citizen  Awareness of democracy  Knowledge of the history  Equality of treatment  Satisfaction with the economy or political culture • What has economic downturn in US done to citizenship? • Operationalizing a concept • Researchers looking at aspects o
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