Communication Research

9167 Words Aug 11th, 2013 37 Pages
CHAPTER ONE

Introduction to Communication Research

Chapter Checklist
After reading this chapter, you should be able to: 1. Identify instances in which you could use or conduct communication research as a student, use or conduct communication research as a professional, and use the results of communication research in your personal life. 2. Explain the goals of research. 3. Explain the relationship of research and theory. 4. Explain communication research as a social science. 5. Describe how communication research from a social science perspective is different from other forms of communication research and other forms of social science research. 6. Differentiate among the characteristics of science. 7. Distinguish between research
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If you work, your company may have conducted research on the preferences of its customers or the quality of its products. The point here is that research is all around us, often presented in ways that we would not recognize as research. Thus, research, as we will study it, is the discovery of answers to questions through the application of scientific and systematic procedures. Given this basic definition of research, you can see that you probably come into contact with several forms of research on a daily basis. You probably also use the results of research in making both personal and professional decisions. The specific focus of this text is communication research—that is, quantitative or qualitative research conducted by communication scholars about communication phenomena. The focus is also on research conducted from a social science perspective, which is distinct from rhetorical research and also distinct from critical research. Yet, distinctions among these three perspectives—social science, rhetorical, and critical—are not always clear (Craig, 1993), and scholars working from the other perspectives

WHAT IS RESEARCH?

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do use some methods more commonly associated with social science research. Social science research is conducted through the use of scientific and systematic methods, and it is based on the assumption that research can uncover patterns in the lives of people. When patterns of
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