Communication Research Practice
For each of the following questions, select the best answer from
the given alternative choices. Additional instructions are given as
necessary. Read each question and all alternatives carefully
before selecting an answer.
Logic of Quantitative Research
1.1 How are "everyday ways of knowing" (like intuition, tradition,
and authority) different from scholarly ways of knowing
• c. Research examines its assumptions; everyday ways of
knowing do not.
1.2 The goal of behavioral (quantitative) approaches to
communication research is best described as which of the
a. Explaining, predicting, and controlling communication behavior.
1.3 Which of the following statements is the most accurate
description of the hypothetico-deductive research method?
d. The researcher develops a formal theory from which a specific
hypothesis is formulated and tested by observation and
measurement, leading to generalizations which are then used to
refine the formal theory.
1.4 Assume that a researcher observes a relationship between
sunspot activity and stock market prices; specifically, when
sunspot activity is high, stock market prices fall; when it is low,
stock prices rise. Can the researcher assert that sunspot activity
influences stock prices based on this observation alone?
b. No; other explanations have not been ruled out. Definitions
2.1 "A characteristic, attribute, or behavior of an individual that
takes on different values for different individuals and can be
measured or observed" best defines which of the following?
• e. variable
2.2 "A possible state or level of a variable" best defines which of
2.3 "A statement of inquiry about a communication-related concept
that asks how to describe it or how it is related to other concepts"
best defines which of the following?
b. research question
2.4 "The process of explaining and defining the concepts within a
theory" best defines which of the following?
2.5 "The process of defining theoretical concepts so that they can
be observed or measured" best defines which of the following?
2.6 "The process of observing phenomena and using those
observations to make generalizations which then serve to help
refine a formal theory" best defines which of the following?
2.7 "The set of individuals or objects whose characteristics or
behavior are of interest" best defines which of the following?
2.8 "The individuals or objects selected for measurement or
observation" best defines which of the following?
Simple Scenario: Theory Building
Read the following paragraph and answer the next three
questions A researcher suspects that television sets emit energy that damages
people's vision. To test her theory, she observes a sample of
children (none of whom wear glasses) and measures how far away
they sit from the television when they watch. Two years later, she
observes the children again, this time seeing how many are
wearing glasses. Her data suggest that young children who sit
close to the television set are more often diagnosed as needing
glasses than children who sit further away, and announces that her
theory is supported.
3.1 In this situation, "distance from the television while watching"
is what kind of variable?
• b. independent variable
3.2 What kind of variable is "whether or not a child wears
c. dependent variable
3.3 Suppose a critic disagrees with the researcher, saying that it is
possible that previously existing eye problems in the children may
result in both sitting close to the TV and in needing glasses.
"Previous existence of eye problems" is, in this case, an example
of what kind of variable?
d. antecedent variable
3.4 Which of the following is a characteristic of a "good"
e. all of the above
3.5 What assertion about the variables being studied does the "null
c. That there is no relationship between them.
Levels of Measurement
For the next five questions, identify the correct level of
measurement for the variable that is described. 4.1 Cash on hand, measured in dollars.
• d. ratio
4.2 Beauty pageant results, measured as "Miss America," "first
runner-up," "third runner-up," "fourth runner-up," and "not a
4.3 Travel time to work each day, measured in hours and minutes.
4.4 Communication apprehension, measured using 12 5-point
Likert-type scale items.
4.5 The answer to the question "Do you live on-campus?"
measured as "Yes" or "No".
4.6 Which of the following are characteristics of interval data?
d. all of the above
4.7 Which of the following are characteristics of nominal data?
e. a. and b. only
For the next seven questions, select the answer containing the
word or words that most correctly fill in the blanks.
5.1 "Operationalization" is the process of translating
____________ into _____________ so that they can be measured,
manipulated, or observed.
• c. variables; measurements
5.2 "Aggressiveness is related to age," is an example of a
_____________ hypothesis of ______________.
b. non-directional; association
5.3 In an _______________, the ______________ variable is
always manipulated. e. experiment, independent
5.4 ___________ observation involves the examination of
communication artifacts or archival data.
5.5 The proportion of a certain value within a population is called a
population ____________; the proportion of a certain value within
a sample is called a sample _____________.
d. parameter; statistic
5.6 Evaluating the external validity of a study involves judgments
about the _________________ of the sample, the _____________
of the research setting, and the ________________ of the research
method and results.
e. representativeness; ecological validity; replicability
5.7 Methods of random sampling include ________________,
____________, and ________________ sampling.
d. stratified, cluster, systematic
5.8 An experiment with two independent variables is generally
referred to as a _________________.
c. factorial design