Chapter Outline and Materials

Chapter 1: The Role of Research in Communication

Chapter 1 introduces you to communication research and the way it contributes
to our field. To help you review matters, we provide you with:

bulletAn outline of Chapter 1
bullet A study quiz on Chapter 1
bullet A Study Sheet on People and Sources in the Field



I.  What Is Research in Communication?


    A.  Research





research: “a process of asking a question (or related serious of questions) and then initiating a systematic process to obtain valid answers to that question” (Meltzoff, 1998, p. 13).
basic research: in
quiry completed for the purpose of establishing relationships between or among variables, regardless of any immediate commercial product or service.
applied research: inquiry completed for the purpose of producing a practical   product.
    B.  Communication Research

communication:The field of communication focuses on how people use messages to generate meanings within and across various contexts, cultures, channels and media. The field promotes the effective and ethical practice of human communication” (Daley, Chesebro, Duncan, Jayes, Levin, Long, Palmerton & White-Newman, 1995).
message: the set of verbal and nonverbal cues communicators exchange.
verbal cues: the words people use in communication.
nonverbal cues:  the elements beyond   the words used in communication.

II.  The Challenges of Communication Research
      A.  The Breadth Challenge
      B.  The Multiple Methods Challenge 


            1.  Qualitative Methods  

qualitative research: “in-depth, case-oriequalitative research: “in-depth, case-oriented study of a relatively small number of cases, including the  single-case study. Qualitative research seeks detailed knowledge of specific cases, often with the goal of finding out ‘how’ things happen (or happened). Qualitative researchers’ primary goal is to ‘make the facts understandable,’ and often place less emphasis on deriving inferences or predictions from cross-case patterns” (Ragin, Nagel, & White, 2004, p. 10)

             2.  Quantitative Methods quantitative research: inquiry in which descriptions of observations are expressed in predominantly numerical terms.
             3.  You, Forms of Research Methods
       C.  The Scholarly Rigor Challenge
             (Research Is Systematic,
Research Is Sound
Research Is Data Driven,
Research Is a Reductive Process, Research Is
             Capable of Replication, Research Is Partial)

: researchers' finding something of value while looking for something else
argument: claims advanced on the basis of reasoning and evidence

      D.  The Personal Challenge
            (Ability to Think in an Orderly Way, Ability
            to Write Clearly, Ability to Set Aside
            Personal Prejudices in Light of Data, Ability to Stay
            Organized and Follow Instructions, Why Study
            Communication Research?)
      E.  The Ethical Challenge
            (Credo of Communication Ethics;
            Professional Codes of Conduct)
      F.   The Structure of the Field Challenge
            1.  National Communication Association
            2.  International Communication Association
            3.  American Speech-Language-Hearing
            4.  Association for Education in Journalism and
                 Mass Communication
            5.  Broadcast Education Association
            6.  American Forensic Association
            7.  American Communication Association
            8.  Special Interest Organizations
            9.  Regional and Local Organizations
            10.  Organizations Outside the United States