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Quantitative research methods for communication : a hands-on approach

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❶This type of research is often less costly than surveys and is extremely effective in acquiring information about peoples' communications needs and their responses to and views about specific communications.

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Gustav Friedrich and Pamela Cooper. Through their scholarship, teaching, and service to the discipline, Gus and Pam have touched many of us. It is for that reason that we are pleased to donate all author royalties from this book to the Central States Communication Association to support the awards named in honor of Pam and Gus.

Finally, we are very thankful to several reviewers who generously provided feedback to improve the book. Their valuable insights resulted in very substantial changes to the first version of the manuscript, and those changes will surely result in benefits for teachers and students. The following individuals provided reviews: Hamilton University of Connecticut , Erika L. Kirby Creighton University , Andrew M.

Leadbetter Ohio University , Brian L. You should identify the degrees of freedom for your test and locate the appropriate row. Using a standard significance level of. If your t value exceeds the critical value, your test is significant. If the df for your test is between two values on this table e. To find other values or to determine an exact probability level for a specific t statistic, consult an online calculator such as the one found at http: Using the df appropriate for your test, locate the critical value for the chi-square statistic below.

If your observed value exceeds the critical value, your test is significant at the. For exact significance levels or to find a critical value for a test that does not have the exact df displayed in this table, consult an online calculator such as the one found at http: Using the df for the denominator and df for the numerator, use the table below to identify the critical value for F in your test.

If your F value exceeds the critical value, your test is significant at the. If the df for your test are not shown in this table, you can use an online calculator such as the one found at http: His primary research interest is in the area of social influence, in which he has more than published works.

Hunter memorial award for lifetime achievement in communication research using meta-analysis. He is past editor of Communication Studies and current editor of Communication Monographs. His primary research interest is instructional communication, with a particular emphasis in connections between affect, emotion, learning, and classroom communication.

He has published articles on several topics, including instructional communication, persuasion, and communication pedagogy. Conducting research can be one of the most fascinating--and intimidating--tasks for students and scholars.

Drawing on their extensive research and teaching experience in the field of communication, authors Jason S. McCroskey have compiled their diverse, acclaimed work into one comprehensive volume. In clear, straightforward language, the authors encourage students to take an active, hands-on role in the learning process, giving them the tools they need to locate, conduct, collect, and present their research.

Students are not only introduced to new skills, but they also have the opportunity to immediately apply these skills in research scenarios. Beginning with a brief history of social science research, the text incorporates the following resources: We encode and decode messages everyday. As we take in messages, we use a number of criteria to evaluate them.

Did you have a conversation about the movie with others? Did that conversation include commentary on various parts of the film such as the set design, dialogue, plot, and character development? If so, you already have a taste of the variety of elements that go into rhetorical research.

Simply stated, rhetorical methods of research are sophisticated and refined ways to evaluate messages. Steps for Doing Rhetorical Research We already outlined the seven basic steps for conducting research, but there are ways to vary this process for different methodologies.

Below are the basic steps for conducting rhetorical research. Determine a focus of study such as political speeches, television shows or genres, movies or movie genres, commercials, magazine texts, the rhetoric of social movement organizations, music lyrics, visual art, public memorials, etc.

Analyze the message s of focus such as a Presidential address by using a particular rhetorical method. Interpret the implications of the rhetorical act, as well as the rhetorical act itself. For example, a scholar might choose to rhetorically research television violence and provide interpretations regarding the implications of television violence on viewers.

Share the results of research. From sharing research comes the opportunity to improve our ability to create and evaluate effective messages. We can also use what we learn from rhetorical research to shape the ways messages are constructed and delivered. What do rhetorical methods actually look like? How are they done? While each rhetorical methodology acts as a unique lens for understanding messages, no one is more correct over another.

Instead, each allows us a different way for understanding messages and their effects. This piece demonstrates rhetorical research used as a means of understanding a historical rhetorical act in its particular context. What is the value of researching acts of communication from a rhetorical perspective? The systematic research of messages tells us a great deal about the ways people communicate, the contexts in which they communicate, the effects of communication in particular contexts, and potential areas to challenge and transform messages to create social change.

Rhetorical research methodologies help us better determine how and why messages are effective or ineffective, as well as the outcomes of messages on audiences. Think about advertising campaigns. Advertising agencies spend millions of dollars evaluating the effectiveness of their messages on audiences. The purpose of advertising is to persuade us to act in some way, usually the purchasing of products or services.

Advertisers not only evaluate the effectiveness of their messages by determining the amount of products sold, they also evaluate effectiveness by looking at audience response to the messages within the current cultural and social contexts.

Steps for Doing Quantitative Research Rhetorical research methods have been being developed since the Classical Period. As the transition was made to seeing communication from a social scientific perspective, scholars began studying communication using the methods established from the physical sciences.

Thus, quantitative methods represent the steps of using the Scientific Method of research. Decide on a focus of study based primarily on your interests. What do you want to discover or answer? Develop a research question s to keep your research focused.

Develop a hypothesis es. A hypothesis states how a researcher believes the subjects under study will or will not communicate based on certain variables. Collect data in order to test hypotheses. In our example, you might observe various college classrooms in order to count which students professors call on more frequently. Analyze the data by processing the numbers using statistical programs like SPSS that allow quantitative researchers to detect patterns in communication phenomena.

Analyzing data in our example would help us determine if there are any significant differences in the ways in which college professors call on various students. Interpret the data to determine if patterns are significant enough to make broad claims about how humans communicate? Simply because professors call on certain students a few more times than other students may or may not indicate communicative patterns of significance.

Share the results with others. Through the sharing of research we continue to learn more about the patterns and rules that guide the ways we communicate. The term quantitative refers to research in which we can quantify, or count, communication phenomena.

Quantitative methodologies draw heavily from research methods in the physical sciences explore human communication phenomena through the collection and analysis of numerical data. What if we wanted to see how public speaking textbooks represent diversity in their photographs and examples.

One thing we could do is quantify these to come to conclusions about these representations. For quantitative research, we must determine which communicative acts to count? How do we go about counting them?

What can we learn by counting acts of human communication? Suppose you want to determine what communicative actions illicit negative responses from your professors. How would you go about researching this? What data would you count?

In what ways would you count them? Who would you study? How would you know if you discovered anything of significance that would tell us something important about this? These are tough questions for researchers to answer, particularly in light of the fact that, unlike laws in the physical sciences, human communication is varied and unpredictable. Nevertheless, there are several quantitative methods researchers use to study communication in order to reveal patterns that help us predict and control our communication.

Think about polls that provide feedback for politicians. While people do not all think the same, this type of research provides patterns of thought to politicians who can use this information to make policy decisions that impact our lives. There are many ways researchers can quantify human communication. Not all communication is easily quantified, but much of what we know about human communication comes from quantitative research.

To determine if students were more motivated to learn by participating in a classroom game versus attending a classroom lecture, the researchers designed an experiment. They wanted to test the hypothesis that students would actually be more motivated to learn from the game. In a number of classes instructors were asked to proceed with their normal lecture over certain content control group , and in a number of other classes, instructors used a game that was developed to teach the same content experimental group.

The students were issued a test at the end of the semester to see which group did better in retaining information, and to find out which method most motivated students to want to learn the material.

It was determined that students were more motivated to learn by participating in the game, which proved the hypothesis. The other thing that stood out was that students who participated in the game actually remembered more of the content at the end of the semester than those who listened to a lecture.

Zabada-Ford conducted survey research of customers to determine their expectations and experiences with physicians, dentists, mechanics, and hairstylists. In this study, the goal was to be able to predict the behavior of customers based on their expectations before entering a service-provider context.

However, this research can be used to alter and change messages, such as PSAs, to produce behavioral change in the culture. In this case, the change would be to either keep adolescents from smoking marijuana, or to get them to stop this behavior if they are currently engaged in it. First, the broader U. To this end, many Communication researchers emulate research methodologies of the physical sciences to study human communication phenomena. In fact, many of your own interactions are based on a loose system of quantifying behavior.

Think about how you and your classmates sit in your classrooms. Most students sit in the same seats every class meeting, even if there is not assigned seating. In this context, it would be easy for you to count how many students sit in the same seat, and what percentage of the time they do this.

You probably already recognize this pattern without having to do a formal study. However, if you wanted to truly demonstrate that students communicatively manifest territoriality to their peers, it would be relatively simple to conduct a quantitative study of this phenomenon. This research would not only provide us with an understanding of a particular communicative pattern of students, it would also give us the ability to predict, to a certain degree, their future behaviors surrounding space issues in the classroom.

While these trends and patterns cannot be applied to all people, in all contexts, at all times, they help us understand what variables play a role in influencing the ways we communicate.

While quantitative methods can show us numerical patterns, what about our personal lived experiences? How do we go about researching them, and what can they tell us about the ways we communicate? Qualitative research methodologies draw much of their approach from the social sciences, particularly the fields of Anthropology, Sociology, and Social-Psychology.

Rather than statistically analyzing data, or evaluating and critiquing messages, qualitative researchers are interested in understanding the subjective lived-experience of those they study. In other words, how can we come to a more rich understanding of how people communicate?

Steps for Doing Qualitative Research Qualitative approaches break from traditional research ideals developed in the physical sciences. As a result, the steps for conducting qualitative research vary from the seven basic steps outlined above. Planning is the first step for qualitative research. You might want to study the communication of registered nurses. Getting in is the second step of qualitative research Lindlof.

Because qualitative research usually focuses on human communication in real-world settings, researchers must gain access to the people and contexts they wish to study. Observing and learning make up the third step of qualitative research.

For example, researchers must decide whether or not to reveal themselves to those they are studying.

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"If you're teaching a quantitative methods course, this is the best of all alternatives. Very thorough approach." --Douglas A. Ferguson, College of Charleston "Engaging examples help students apply information to real world scenarios".4/5(1).

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The term quantitative refers to research in which we can quantify, or count, communication conra-vip.gqtative methodologies draw heavily from research methods in the physical sciences explore human communication phenomena through the collection and analysis of numerical data.

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Quantitative Research in Communication is ideal for courses in Quantitative Methods in Communication, Statistical Methods in Communication, Advanced Research Methods (undergraduate), and Introduction to Research Methods (Graduate) in departments of communication. Quantitative Research Methods for Communication: A Hands-On Approach, Third Edition, is a comprehensive and engaging guide to quantitative research. Drawing on their extensive research and teaching experience, the authors encourage students to take an active, hands-on role in the learning process.

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Quantitative Research Methods for Communication: A Hands-On Approach 2nd edition by Wrench, Jason S., Thomas-Maddox, Candice, Peck Richmond, Vir () Paperback on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers/5(7). Quantitative Research Methods for Communication: A Hands-On Approach, Third Edition, is a comprehensive and engaging guide to quantitative research. Drawing on their extensive research and teaching experience, the authors encourage students to take an active, hands-on role in the learning $