COMM 1101 Lecture 3: Communication Chapter 2

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Communication Studies
COMM 1101
Thomas K.Nakayama

Communication Chapter 2: Perspective on Human Communication Theories are a set of statements that explain particular phenomena Communication theories offer insight into communication between people Social science and interpretive theories take a more individual approach to the study of communication whereas critical takes a more societal approach Contemporary Approaches to Studying Human Communication Ways to investigate interpersonal conflict o Interviews about behavior during conflict, observe cross sex couples during conflict in natural settings or labs o Create and test hypothesis o Way socialized, family, context, personalities, gender o Situational elements Social science approach, interpretive, critical Paradigms, theories, and methods Approach o Each approach represents a belief system, much like a religious system for faith o Academic world calls these systems paradigms Each carries set of assumptions about knowledge, the nature of reality, and human nature These assumptions guide research and theory development Social scientists endorse a paradigm that assumes reality is external to individuals, that is persists across time and groups, and that one can predict future behavior based on observations of past or present behavior Observe and generalize Interpretivists Assume that reality is socially constructed and is internal to individuals and groups, and may not be consistent from group to group acquire knowledge by understanding the perspectives and experiences of individuals and groups, although such knowledge may not be generalizable A theory is a set of statements that explains a particular phenomenon A theory can lead researcher to make an educated guess about specific behaviors which is called a hypothesis Methods describe the specific ways in which scholars collect and analyze data, the results of which are used to test their theories o Speeches and text analysis, focus groups, interviews Experts disagree about best way to study communication because the communication discipline is interdisciplinary in natureparadigms, theories, methods have been influenced by different disciplines over the years
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