Investigating Communication: An Introduction to Research Methods / Edition 2

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This book provides a comprehensive, balanced introduction to communication research methods. Designed for readers who have little or no familiarity with research methods, this book helps one become a more knowledgeable and competent consumer (and limited producer) of scholarly research and of the everyday research to which they are exposed by the mass media. Praised for its accessible writing and extensive real-life examples, this book takes a step-by-step approach through the communication research process. Investigating Communication shows how communication research is conducted from start to finish, with the book's organization modeled after a traditional research study. By making the material accessible rather than impossible to learn, readers become excited about studying research methods. For anyone interested in the introductory methods of communication research.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205198269
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 10/26/1999
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 514
  • Sales rank: 445,290
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

All chapters end with “Conclusion.”



1.Introduction to the Research Culture.

The Importance of Knowing Research Methods.

Making Claims and Offering Evidence.

Everyday Ways of Knowing.

The Research Process.

The Importance of Distinguishing Research from Pseudoresearch.

2.Asking Questions about Communication.

Defining Communication.

What Constitutes Communication Research?

Areas of Communication Research.

Basic versus Applied Communication Research Topics.

Justifying Communication Research Topics.

Research Questions and Hypotheses.

3.Finding, Reading, and Using Research.

Reasons for Reviewing Previous Research.

The Search for Research.

Diane F. Witmer, Internet and World Wide Web Resources for Research.

How Research Is Presented: Reading Scholarly Journal Articles.

Writing a Literature Review.


4.Observing and Measuring Communication Variables.

Conceptual versus Operational Definitions.

Measurement Theory.

Measurement Methods.

Measurement Techniques.

5.Designing Valid Communication Research.

Internal and External Validity.

Measurement Validity and Reliability.

Threats to Internal Validity.

External Validity.

6.Research Ethics and Politics.

Ethical Issues in Communication Research.


7.Experimental Research.

Establishing Causation.

Exercising Control in Experimental Research.

Experimental Research Designs.

Factorial Designs.

Laboratory versus Field Experiments.

8.Survey Research.

The Prevalence of Surveys.

Survey Research Design.

Survey Measurement Techniques.

Using Multiple Methods in Survey Research.

9.Textual Analysis.

Purposes of Textual Analysis.

Important Considerations in Textual Analysis.

Rhetorical Criticism.

Content Analysis.

Interaction Analysis.

Performance Analysis.

Ron Pelias, Performance as a Method.

10.Naturalistic Inquiry.

Common Assumptions Guiding Naturalistic Inquiry.

Types of Naturalistic Inquiry.

The Flow of Naturalistic Inquiry.

Collecting Data in Naturalistic Inquiry.

Start Making Sense: Analyzing and Reporting Qualitative Data.


11.Describing Quantitative Data.

Making Sense of Numbers: Statistical Data Analysis.

Describing Data through Summary Statistics.

Describing Data in Standard Scores.

Describing Data through Visual Displays.

12.Inferring from Data: Estimation and Significance Testing.


Significance Testing.

13.Analyzing Differences between Groups.

Types of Difference Analysis.

Advanced Difference Analysis.

14.Analyzing Relationships between Variables.

Types of Relationships.


Regression Analysis.

Advanced Relationship Analysis.


15.Epilogue: Concluding Research.

Discussing Research Findings.


Random Number Table.

Chi-Square Table.

t Table.

F Table.

Pearson r Table.

Spearman rho Table.




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