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CMNS 262 (8)
Midterm

Preperation for CMNS 262 midterm exam

10 Pages
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Department
Communication
Course Code
CMNS 262
Professor
Katherine Reilly

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Study Guide What is research? Is the search for the paranormal (ghosts) research? How so?  How people encounter the world around them  How you carry out the encounter  The story you end up telling about the encounter What is quantitative research?  The world is ‘out there’ waiting to be discovered.  Data can be gathered that will allow us to predict outcomes with some reliability.  The ‘rules of the game’ are stable, so we can establish clear ‘facts’.  The researcher observes from outside the game so as not to disturb the ‘reality’ and ‘facts’  We say this research is quantitative because it often relies on numbers (quantity). What is qualitative research?  The world is ‘in here’ and we must engage with it. We may alter that world when we do so.  The focus is on the significance of a phenomenon rather than its ‘truth’.  The impression we get of the world is our own and may differ from that of others.  The data we gather may lead to understanding but not to prediction.  Action may cause change  We say this research is qualitative because it often relies on attributes (quality) What is a paradigm? A philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated; broadly: a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind What is a paradigm shift? What is a research paradigm? A set of choices about: – Ontology – nature of reality What’s out there to know? What is the nature of the reality to be investigated? Is the world a stable place awaiting discovery (a set of communicative practices), or is it an unstable place in which we intervene when we do research (a set of communicative performances)? – Epistemology – if/how reality can be known  What and how can we know about that reality? (Epistemology)  Is it possible to uncover the truth? Or do we only ever form opinions about the significance of a phenomenon? – Methodology – how data is gathered and analyzed  How can we go about acquiring that knowledge?  Is it best to gather statistics? Or should we gather our impressions? – Representation – the story we tell  How do we represent the knowledge we produce? Paint a picture? Make a graph? Numbers? Words? Our answers to these questions will determine the sort of research that we do, and are what separates the sciences, social sciences, humanities and arts. Define each of the terms in this chart and then fill in the blanks. Positivism Anti-Positivism Post-Positivism Ontology Epistemology Methodology  Constructivism  anti-positivism  Critical Theory et.ANot to cover in the course Why is it useful to know about research paradigms?  Evaluating other people’s work  Situating your own arguments  Thinking more clearly Positivism  “Reality is singular, a priori and objective”  The truth is out there to be discovered.  Goal: Prediction & Control  Foundationalist: the world exists independently of our knowledge of it.  Positivism  Searches for ‘the truth’ and ‘law-like generalizations’  Seeks to remove bias from explanations  Uses deductive methodology to eliminate incorrect hypothesis  Explanations rely on ‘social facts,’ ideal types, categories  Criticisms  Social facts are approximations of a complex world  Since explanations rely on these social facts, they can never be accurate, so the project is flawed  It is impossible to be unbiased – we are all always ‘biased’  Removing values and beliefs from research is dehumanizing Why did Prof. Reilly start with positivism?  Metaphysics versus Science  Enlightenment and Scientism  Can be seem as in 3 circumstances Positivism was a reaction against Christian metaphysics of the Middle Ages in Europe. Explain. What did we gain from this shift? What did we lose from this shift?  Explanations are based on the argumentation What is the scientific method? What is the link between the scientific method and deduction? Scientific Method is based on deduction. Deduction Theory  Hypothesis  Oberservation  Confirmation Relies on:  Controlled experiments If you don’t eliminate the other possible variables, you don’t know it’s the fact that X causes Y  A theory of Causal Regularities Who says what to whom, with that result?  Reductionism A fact that you have to reduce things on variables, (focus on X, focus on Y) Reduce complexity down to this very simple variable What is the genius of the scientific method? (I.e. what is it designed to do and what is it designed to protect against?)  Search for facts and the laws that account for them / connect them causally  Prediction (if you can predict then you truly understand)  Control (if you truly understand then you can control) What did Lowery and De Fleur mean by the search for the magic keys? Why do researchers, such as the ones discussed in Simpson’s work, want to find them? What are social facts? What is their significance? Are social facts necessarily? Are they problematic?  You could apply nism  Review the law of the society  There are certain facts are true in all society, and we can use them in our variables  Can identify social facts and XXX, we can find out the relationship between  Tries to find out what makes society healthy  Raised by Jewish, but not religious at all  Study the suicide rate: the stronger social control (catholic) created a healthier society  In catholic cannot commit suicide  Biases All are based on ASSUMPTION  Dispassionate data  Objectivity  Average cases  Mechanisms (Causes and Effects)  Separation of knowledge from experience/being  Assumptions  A reality out there awaiting discovery  Data can be dispassionate and researchers objective  Understanding and control rest on prediction, which in turn rests on mechanisms  Average cases as representative Is positivism inherently flawed?  Since explanations rely on these social facts, they can never be accurate, so the project is flawed  We have a time that we totally believe in science (e.g., used to totally believe what a doctor says, because he is a scientist) Major Assumptions  Was found in the split between emotion and belief  To carry assumption of what are able to do Rationality  The only authentic knowledge is based in positive verification  Knowledge claims can be tested through empirical means – especially observations  Knowledge claims cannot be proven through argumentation  according to positivism, the only authentic knowledge is based in positive verification  have to back up the stories on the observation  can’t just say the hypothesis, have to come up the evidences From note: Positivism in CMNS studies  YouTube of Baker  our lives are databases  they find you in the data, and predicts our behaviors, determined your characteristics  They used to focus on science, engineering, etc.  Now they have key to our data, so now come to our world and take the humanities  The privacy Question  We don’t really have that much privacy. (e.g., small town, people gossip)  machine are processing the data, not the people looking at our behavior  if the machine points out us, then the people 才 look at us  It’s impossible to avoid (don’t use phone, internater, cash…etc.)  Media Impact  the people can now look at the certain readers  Media is cutting out the population, find out who work for them  The whole industry is overrun by the numerity Anti-Positivism  There is no objective ‘truth’.  Realities are plural, simultaneous and local.  They are social constructed. They are emergent, collaborative and symbolic.  Goal: Understanding  Anti-Foundationlist: the world is our knowledge of it.  Anti-Positivism  Uses deconstruction to demonstrate the coercive power of categories within positivism  Seeks understanding instead of explanation  Understanding is created through interpretation – but this is a highly personal undertaking, which leads to relativism  In order to overcome the problem of relativism, engages in the study of
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