comm 89.docx

33 Pages
Unlock Document

University of California - Santa Barbara

WEEK 1: THURSDAY APRIL 4TH What is theory?  Any attempt to explain/represent a phenomenon  “the explanation ppl use to resolve the ambiguity of life”  more specifically: set on concepts and their relationships o informed by systematic observation o to tell us how and hwy event/patterns happen approaches to comm. Theorizing  paradigm: a scholar’s intellectual “world view” o like little mini religions o important bc ...  influences the kinds of theories we construct  influences the methods used to test theories o 2 broad paradigms for research!  Science and humanities  Comm. Is “social science” right in middle Ontological differences (how does human nature/behavioral work?)  Science theorizing- emphasize “determinism” o Explain social behavior in terms of cause and effect o Goal is to identify probabilistic “laws” of behavior  Humanistic theorizing- emphasizes “free will” o Identify/describe individual choices/rules o Goal is to develop understandings of each unique experience o BUT for “critical” theories- power constrains choice Epistemological differences (how do we know/study human reality?)  Science theorizing- reality is out there, to be discovered o Observe attitudes/behaviors “objectively” o Try to control researchers personal biases  Humanistic theorizing- reality is “created’ and interpreted o Researchers and subjects are inseperable o “subjective” interpretations important  NEITHER approach attempts to prove truth Axiological Differences )what do we do with researchers values?)  Sciences- keep them distant  Humanism- bring values to bear (esp. “critical” theories) Where do comm. Theories fit into these extremes???  Can draw from one side or another, mix them “hybrid” WEEK 2: TUESDAY APRIL 9, 13 Revisiting paradigms... Two broad perspectives  Science o Determinism: cause/effect explanations o Objectivity: discover “real” reality o Keep researcher values distant  Humanism o Free will: focus on indiv choices o Subjectivity: explore “created” reality of your subjects o Include/embrace researcher values Three types of comm theories:  “covering laws” theories o attempt to create general explanations that apply widely across many situations. o “when __ happens, __ will happen” o Paradigm: very scientific o Typically use quantitative, empirical methods to test hypotheses  Aka “positivistic” approach o Examples : URT, CAT, EVT, etc  “rules” theories o attempt to identify the rules people create/use to regulate their behavior (in specific, individual contexts)  rules are created by people, unlike laws by a theoretical government. Laws have certain consequences like fines, jail etc but rules just feel bad socially etc o paradigm: draws upon both  humanistic focus on choice and researcher subjectivity  but also science- regularities of observed behavior o typically use qualitative methods  aka “interpretive” approach o examples: CMM, structuration  “systems” theories o attempts to explain behavior as interdependent relationships within a system.  Like an ecologist looking at an ecosystem: cant just look at a spider, but need to look at and consider surroundings other species living etc etc  Everything effects everything else o Paradigm: it depends on the particular theory... (can draw from both) o Use qualitative and quantitative methods (depends) o Examples: interactional view (of relationships), organizational networks, etc.  A fourth type??  “critical” theories/methods are purely in the humanities, so we’ll not be covering those... SO, revisiting paradigms again.  Two broad perspectives: o Science and humanism  Three types on comm. Theories: o Laws, rules, systems  Ch 3 adds 3 more terms (approaches to research) o Positivistic, interpretive, critical methods  Which go with which? o Laws- science- positivistic o Rules- interpretive- science and humanism o Systems- depends... o Critical is pure humanities, nothing else. Role of theory in research Theories organize experience  Focus attention on important concepts/factors/variables , but ignore the rest. o Often “reductionistic” meaning your taking a complex aspect of human life and reducing it to just some key concepts. Theories stimulate and guide research  Point to ways to test predictions  Get modified to better explain the data The process is cyclical  Deduction: theories- hypothesis- observations o Science/laws theories, positivistic methods (quant)  Induction: observations- empirical generalizations- theories o Aka grounded theory o Rules theories; interpretive methods (qual)  System theories can be either ^  Disregard how the textbook says the diff of above two.  Just note where you are starting in the cycle.  Can also be all four in a circle. Evaluating theory: what makes a scientific theory “good”?  Scope (and boundaries) o How much about communication does the theory cover?  Its not bigger is better. Just depends  ex: initial encounters only? Or relationships over time?  Ex: effects of tv violence? Or mass media effects in general?  Shouldn’t be too narrow but also not too broad.  Needs to be meaningful for whatever the focus is  Testability (falsifiability) o Can the theory (or its concepts) really be put to an empirical test?  Should be possible to get findings that would show the theory is wrong.  Cant prove faith and religion because not physical proof  For many comm theories, can only falsify certain parts.  EX: attribution theory- when we interact w people we need to explain it. Either internally or externally... internal theyre good people, external theyre in good mood or want something outta me.... can test the kinds of attributes people make, but cant really test on whether people make att’s on their own. WEEK 2: THURSDAY APRIL 10,13 Explanatory power o How well does the theory explain the phenomenon? o -does the theory specify the causal mechanisms or other reasons for how variables fit together o -does the theory explain the complexities of the data? o -ex) why rob banks?......cuz that’s where they keep the money • Predictive power -How well does the theory predict future events? o Given certain conditions, can we expect certain behaviors? o Some theories only explain events after the fact (Groupthink) • Only evident in disastrous situations • Parsimony o How elegantly simple is the theory? o -Does the theory account for all of the factors, but in a nice, neat package? • Heurism -does the theory stimulate new research and/or thinking? -ex) Communication Accommodation Theory o Has stimulated study after study since the 70’s o Started as speech accommodation→to how people talk in business vs. home place, police community and many different situations • Practical Utility -how useful is the theory? o How well does the theory answer the “so what?” question? o For people’s lives? Could be a societal, relational, or cultural level Theories of Cognition and Communication: Social Cognition Category • What these theories have in common?: they come from the “Social Cognition” branch of social psychology -how we think about the social world and how it influences comm -focus on how people make sense of others and themselves o Such as res on: Attitudes, Stereotyping, Impressions • Combine cognitive processes (limitations of cognitive system) -we don’t have to think about walking/breathing or it we couldn’t focus on other activities o With motivation factors (goal, needs, rewards to fit in, be liked, or feel good) o To explain how we mentally organize info about others (ex: attributions or schemas) -not efficient to keep everything all jumbled so brain categorizes & files everything • Cognitive Schema Theory (ordering food convo w/ college students) -a “schema” is: a mental structure for representing generic concepts stored in memory o ex) we have a pizza schema b/c we know the general concept & steps it takes to get a pizza as well as what goes along with it3 -used to guide encoding, organization, and retrieval of information -schemas are created through repeated experiences o seen or done a lot as a kid, seen it on TV, heard about it from other people -do schemas change? o Relatively stable & repetitive over time once they are established o New experiences often “activate” existing schemas in mind • Media, interactions, etc -schemas get modified through: o Accretion • New info fits with schemas, gets added to it Ordering pizza and it comes as wheat; still fits schema but changes a little bit • Confirmation bias- only attend to info that confirms existing schemas -we notice stuff that seems to “fit” and assume it’s going to happen again; kind of goes unnoticed o Tuning • New info doesn’t fit, so either reject info or adjust/fit schema to fit new info Like ordering a pizza and a pie comes: either adjust and say it is pizza, or reject and say it’s not pizza • Subtyping- create exception category rather than alter the schema Christmas trees don’t need to have stars on top to be trees, they can have angels too o Radical Restructuring (least common) • Create new schema altogether WEEK 3: TUESDAY APRIL 15, 13 Theories of cognition and communication (continued) Both theories come from the “social cognition” branch of social psych  Focus on how people make sense of others and self Combine cognitive processes  (limitations of cognitive systems) Cognitive Miser Model (Chaiken and others) Miser is a stingy person with person. Cognitive miser is stingy with thoughts- not expending them a lot  Main ideas o Humans all limited cognitive capacity o Strive to conserve mental effort o Example problem: bob is in a bar, looking at susan. But she is looking at Pablo. Bob is married. Pablo is not.  Q: is a married person looking at an unmarried person?  (a) yes (b) no (c) cannot be determined.  Answer is yes. Regardless of susans status. o Use “heuristics” to process info  (rules used as mental shortcuts)  ex: “availability heuristic”  judge (frequencys, etc) based on what easily comes to mind (“available” in memory) rather than on actual data  Q: more likely cause of death? Falling airplane parts of shark attacks?... airplane parts is 30x more likely. Most people thought shark attacks because its extremed on news so much.  Ex: “affect heuristic”  Judge based on good/bad feeling.  Ice cream underfilled vs overfilled, how you feel jipped or getting extra regardless of actual amount in comparison.  Gambling example, one red bean of ten or 10 red beans of 150 ppl think more red beans is better- wrong. Think of actual fractions.  Also influences risk vs. benefit assessments.  The more you think it’s a good thing then the risks are shadowed.  Ex: “consensus heuristic”  Rule in our head if we think everything else is doing it, then it must be a good thing. o Process “systematically” only when must.  Why is this important for comm.?? Marketing etc Theories of message processing and persuasion. What is persuasion?  Not just gaining compliance.  Persuasion involves: attitude change, chance in mental evaluation of something… social influence, change occurs because of social agents using communication… Cognitive dissonance theory (Festinger)  Main ideas:  “dissonance” … o distress come from discord between beliefs/attitudes/behavior. “I know I should study but I don’t want to” “I want to save the environment- as I litter” they don’t match up o people are motivated to avoid/reduce dissonance  to persuade: provoke dissonance, and then provide your way to reduce it.  Reducing dissonance o Beforehand: try to prevent it  Selective exposure, attention o After a decision: rationalize  Need reassurance, remove nagging doubts  Dissonance likely to be greater if:  Important decision, irreversible, much time/energy invested. o When feeling an inconsistency…  Ex: attitude: you feel that its good to be healthy. Belief: you believe ice cream in unhealthy. Behavior: you eat lots of it.  Shift the belief, attitude, or the behavior. o Decide ice cream is ok, quit eating it, or decide you don’t need to be healthy. o Add consonant cognition/attitude(s)  Remind yourself of what is consistent.. ex: this is the only thing I eat that’s unhealthy! Im gonna work out later anyways! o Reduce importance of cognition/attitude/behavior  Being healthy is good, but theres more to life. WEEK 3: THURSDAY APRIL 18, 13 Main ideas: Dissonance (continued)  Distress comes from discord between beliefs/attitudes/behavior  People are motivated to avoid/reduce dissonance  To persuade: provoke dissonance, and then provide your way to reduce it.  When “minimal justification” (for behavior)  more dissonance shift attitude. o Do boring task and told to tell the next person that it was fun. Half offered $20 and they did not shift attitude, because being paid for it justified the lie. Other half paid $1 to lie and cause dissonance… they shifted their attitude because they felt they needed to ease the dissonance.  Criticism! Are we really that uncomfortable with dissonance? o Alternative explanation (Aronson): inconsistency is with behavior and self-concept. (e.g. guilt)  Blurry now.. is it feeling, emotion, or something else? Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) (Petty and Cacioppo)  The likelihood of elaborating in your head effects persuasion.  Assumes people are motivated to hold “correct” attitudes  People vary as to how much they cognitively “elaborate” on persuasive messages.  Different factors are persuasive, depending on the amount of elaboration.  A “dual process” approach: o Two cognitive routes to persuasion.  Central route: persuasion results from elaboration; thoughtful consideration of argument.  Peripheral route: persuasion is result of attention to superficial cues in the context; heuristics (mental shortcuts).  Goes around the actual argument  Ex: attractiveness, eye contact, likability. o Occurs along a continuum: peripheral ------ central o What influences the amount of elaboration?  Motivation to process messages.  Personal relevance/involvement.  Need for cognition. Gotta know about everything.  Ability to process messages  Distraction/time constraints.  SO: o Low motivation and/or ability  Lower cognitive elaboration  Peripheral cues more important o High motivation/ability  Higher cognitive elaboration  Persuasive arguments more important  What factors have been found to be persuasive? o If centrally processing: strong, high quality arguments o If peripherally processing: source credibility, likeability, powerful lang (celeb tweets political statement) o Consensus of others (“90% of people agree” = wow I should agree too, cause everyone else is) o Message length (more bullet points showing point, then yeah more evidence! Peripheral shortcut)  Attitude change o From central processing: lasts longer, predicts behavior better, resists counter-persuasion o From peripheral processing: more temporary, less predictive of behavior. And counter persuasion susceptible.  Criticism: o Not very good at predicting persuasive effectiveness… doesn’t say if that person is gonna be persuaded or not.  Ex: what IS a strong argument? o Are there really TWO paths...? The Heuristic–Systematic Model (HSM) (Chaiken and others) Same person of cognitive miser model and similar concepts….  Very similar to ELM. o Also a “dual process” model o Processing is labeled “systematic” vs “heuristic” o Results for persuasion are similar  Key differences are conceptual: o Using heuristics is default. (conserve mental effort) o Processes are parallel, not separate routes. (can do both at once) WEEK 4: APRIL 23, 13 Persuasion theories (continued) Social judgment theory (Sherif) Focus: the attitudes we bring to persuasive encounters matter  “Anchor”- our basic position on a given issue.  “ego-involvement” important- the position matters more, super strong on your position.  Example range of attitude positions: gov’t influence in economy  Far left: total gov’t control ownership (socialism) redistribution $$ o In betweens…  Limited regulation  Pro-competition regulation  Labor laws, min wage laws.. more reg  Heavy intrusion; health care, banking systems, high tax  Far right: complete free market, no gov’t influence on capitalism.  Latitudes: we have a range of positions relative to that anchor o latitude of acceptance- range of attitudes that your basically okay with. o Latitude of rejection- what you’re not okay with o Latitude of non-commitment- not sure, in between o Role of ego-involvement?  Getting persuaded involves two steps: o Step 1. Perceptual judgment  You judge where argument is relative to your anchor  Biases in judgment:  Contrast effect- when you judge the message to be further away then it really is.  Assimilation effect- think of the message as closer to regular position then truly is o Step 2. Attitude change (shifting the anchor)  If judge message to be within your lat of noncom (lat of acceptance too, depending…)  You shift anchor toward message  If judge within your lat of rejection  No shift at all, or anchor shifts away from mssg o How big is the change?? Inoculation Theory (McGuire; Pfau & others) Focus: how messages can be used to make people resists persuasion “inoculation” – metaphor of inoculation against disease  components: o threat: forewarn upcoming challenge o refutational preemption: raise the challenges, then refute them  how does this create resistance? o Threat triggers bolstering of existing attitudes o Refutations provide “antibodies” to protect against attack (ammo for defense) o Protection can extend to broad range of attacks  Limitations: o Modest, short-term effects o Must catch people before attitudes have already been attacked Mass Communication Theories Early Theorizing: Magic Bullet Theory (hypodermic needle) (example: the war of the worlds radio broadcast in 1930s?)  Audiences are disconnected masses  Influence is: powerful, direct, uniform.  Problem: no research support; basically a disregarded theory among researchers. (yet still part of pop lore) The rise of “limited effects” theories  Researchers found media effects to be mediated by: o Individual & social differences o Selectivity- choose what to pay attention to o Interpersonal relationships WEEK 4: THURSDAY April 25, 13 The Rise of “Limited Effects” Theory  Media effects found to be mediated by: o Individual and social differences o Selectivity o Interpersonal relationships  Uses and gratifications theory (katz, blumer, gurevich; & rubin)  Focus: what people do with media (rather than what media do to people)  Assumes: o Audiences are active- not passive sponges o Make media choices to gratify needs  Information, surveillance, entertainment, pleasure  Examples of uses and grats research: o Identifying underlying motives o For TV: passing time, escaping, getting info.. o For facebook: finding old friends, maintaining relationships o Examining how motives/needs relate to use  Ex: recognition, social, entertainment needs  user-generated online content. o Examining consequences of motives and uses  Ex: user generated content  stronger sense of psychological empowerment  Criticisms: o Reliance on self reports of motives o Lack of coherent, unified theory  Media Systems Dependency Theory (Ball-Rokeach and DeFleur)  Focus: relationships between individual, media system and society  “dependence” o For media: expectations for audience members and institutional constraints. o For indiv: expectations/demands for media satisfying needs/goals.  Need to get on facebook, need to be connected. o Dependence varies based on:  Individual needs  Societal stability/change/conflict  Ex: cable news ratings beat out all other stations during boston bombings.. same as 9/11  Type of media use o More dependence on media   More important media become   More influence media have o Criticisms:  Is there an “ideal” level of dependence?  What are real consequences? More persuaded or what? What influence does it have- not specified-? A return to theories of “powerful (but indirect/subtle) effects”  Criticism of social ills increased (1960s+) civil rights, Vietnam…  Methods and stats got more sophisticated  …(to detect more subtle or indirect effects)  several different areas investigated o social-psychological effects o broad cultural/societal influences o political/public opinion influence Social Psychological Effects  Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura) aka Social Learning Theory  Main idea: people learn by observing others (modeled behavior)  Learning from media models is cognitive process that involves: (further below, next class….) WEEK 5: Tuesday April 30 2013 Prof mullin special office hours: thurs may 2 2:30-4pm (ssms 4105) TA Q&A session: mon may 6, time/loc TBA Review guide on gauchospace  Includes list of topics covered  And where: lecture, readings, or both  Includes a few example questions Mass Communication (continued) Social Psychological Effects Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura) aka Social Learning Theory Main idea: people learn by observing others (modeled behavior)  Learning from media models is cognitive process that involves: o Attention (incl. features of show, viewer skills) o Retention (incl. repetition, cog rehearsal) o Production (incl. physical skill, and self-efficacy)  Self efficacy- how confident in own skills o Motivation (esp expectations for rewards vs. punishments, identification with model)  Comments… o Lots of research support o Limited to short term effects on behavior Broad Cultural/Societal Influences Technological Determinsm (McLuhan) [aka Media Ecology] The technology is the determining factor. Focus: how media inventions cause cultural change  Key premises: “we shape our tools and they in turn shape us” o “the medium is the message” o it used to be the message from the media is the thing affecting us, but now he says it’s the media affecting us whether its TV internet (facebook, youtube) book etc.  doesn’t matter what show your watching or what post your writing.. specific content not important  medium determines how we process info o big problem: its not testable.. what the actual effect? Cultivation Theory (Gerbner) Wanted it to be a broad level theory but is really at the individual level  Main arguments: o TV “cultivates” perceptions of social reality  Long term heavy expos. TV  Perceptions match “TV reality” o Most tv presents essentially the same message (e.g. violence)  Amount of tv counts most (heavy vs light)  Heavy viewers display a “mean world syndrome”  They think they’re more likely to be attacked or part of a violent crime, etc etc.  Additional concepts: o Mainstreaming  TV homogenizes viewers  Ex: Everyone thinks they’re middle class o Resonance  TV + personal experience = double dose of violence  Because its relatable  Criticisms:  conceptual problems (is tv really uniform?)  methodological problems (correlation does not = causality) o causality- one thing causes the other (tv causes us to think plastic surgery is normal) o correlation- heavy viewers are more impressionable then low viewers o but is it reversed? People who are already more innate to be scared of crime tend more to watch the tv/news heavy.  Difficult to test; alternative explanations. WEEK 5: Thursday May 2, 2013 Help for the midterm:  Prof mullin special office hours: thurs, may 2 230-4pm (ssms4105)  TA Q&A session: mon, may 6, 630-730, ssms 1009  Review guide on gauchospce o Includes list of topics covered o And where: lec only, rdg only, or lec and rdg. o Includes a few example questions  46 multiple choice questions (2 pt each)  be sure to… o bring pink parscore form and #2 pencil o bring id o sit in your TAs section Political/Public Setting Theories Agenda Setting (McCombs and Shaw) Main premise: media tells us not necessarily what to think, but what to think about. “if the headline is big enough, then the news is big enough”  Research support for agenda setting o Match press agenda with public agenda  Public agenda- surveys  Correlation problem (like cultivation)  More press = more importance  But which comes first? o Time series design and experiments too  Time series, same as above but multiple over different time spans.  In experiments, dose em up on some stories and mediate what news they see.  Then ask about rating the issues importance o More recent developments  Individual differences and issue diff  Control of agenda  Who’s controlling what gets out there?  “priming” effects  priming is when you bring a thought to front of mind, (from social psych) like prime anger then your more aggressive.  Like ask about an issue and then “overall” if rank issue high then rank overall high.. same with low. Its like a spillover.  “framing”  impact of “new” media  (e.g. blogs twitter fb) Spiral of Silence (Noelle-Neumann) Main idea: people do not voice their opinions when they think their view
More Less

Related notes for COMM 89

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.