COMM 360 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Falsifiability, Testability

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Chapter 3
What makes an objective theory good?
- Objective theory predicts a future outcome and explains the reason for that outcome
- Objective theory must have:
o Relative simplicity
o Testability
o Practical utility
o Quantifiable research
Rule of Parsimony (Occam’s Razor): if given two plausible explanations for the same event, we
should accept the simpler version
Falsifiability: scientific/objective theory should be stated in a way that it can be tested and
disproved if it is wrong
What makes an interpretive theory good?
- Interpretive theory must:
o Identify values
o Create understanding
o Inspire aesthetic appreciation
o Stimulate agreement
o Reform society
o Conduct qualitative research
Ethical imperative: grant others the same authority you practice constructing
Self-referential imperative: include yourself as a constituent of your own construction
Textual analysis: describe and interpret the characteristics of a message
Ethnography: an observation method that helps researchers experience a culture’s complex web
of meaning
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