CMN 2101: Lecture #1 09/12/2012
Introduction to communication research:
What is research:
Literally it means “to search for, to find”.
In general, research means looking for information about something.
Scholarly research is different than everyday research
Difference between everyday and scholarly research
Spur of moment
Flawed thinking at times
Focus is personal decision
Theory based Structured
Logical to the extent possible
Focus is knowledge about flexibility
Diachronic vs. synchronic research:
Linguistic studies that have historical focus
Linguistic research that is comparative in nature.
Deductive vs inductive reasoning:
In deductive reasoning, a conclusion is implied in the premise. One proceeds from the general to the
particular. Which involves deducing a hypothesis from a set of assumptions or theories.
In inductive reasoning, we begin with specific observations and measures, begin to detect patterns and
regularities, formulate some tentative hypotheses that we can explore, and finally end up developing some
general conclusions or theories.
Descriptive researchdescribe your topic and participants
Explanatory research explain, uncover reality, expose
Evaluation researchevaluate making a judgment about the usefulness of a product.
All types of research; explain, define, describe, explore and evaluate.
Qualitative research Quantitative research
1.Evaluates 1. counts, measures
2. Uses concepts to explicate. 2. processes data collected
3. focuses on aesthetics’ in texts 3. focuses on incidences of X in texts.
5.Interpets 5.Describes, explains, and predicts 6. Leads to an evaluation 6.Leads to a hypothesis or theory
7. Interpretation can be attacked 7. Methodology can be attacked
More focused on words and what people say More focused on counting and getting stats.
In communication research focuses on different aspects of communication:
Intrapersonal involves research on how a person thinks and feels.
Interpersonal involves a small group of people who sit around and talk about a certain topic and establish
things about that topic
Organizational – you study how an organization communicates with its employees, companies,
Mass media Difference between basic and applied communication research:
Basic communication research is designed to test and refine theory. Study that is defined to refine a theory
and test a hypotheses. You already know the established concept. Basic interpretive research
Applied communication research is usually designed to solve a problem. How you can study or understand
a topic, to make a suggestion or improvement, how you can solve the problem. Action research.
Research designs in communication research:
1.Historicalcomparative primary reseources, secondary research. Rigid these are expectations and steps.
A theory can be applied here but not be tested.
2.Unobtrusive relying and examining human traces, documentaries, videos, writings, letters, journals
3.Experimental how they can establish cause and effect by isolating causable variables. Study something
4.Qualitative positivist approaches , objectively evaluate something
5.Quantitative research based on statistics and facts.
6.Content analysis the text, the content library research, specific documentation.
Data collection methods and sampling strategies:
Data collection methods:
Focus group discussions
Document analysis Sampling Strategies:
Non random sample
Deviant case sample
Considering research topics:
Is the problem important enough to bother with?
Is your hypothesis reasonable and testable?
Are there ethical problems involved in the research? (will it violate the privacy of people/ if so, should it be
Do you have skills to do this type (quantitative/qualitative) research?
Is the topic sufficiently narrow and focused so that you can do it in a time you have at your disposal?
Is your methodology the best one to deal with your hypothesis or subject being investigated?
Do you have resources in the library to start your r