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Communication Research

Communication Research - 3rd edition

Communication Research - 3rd edition

ISBN13: 9780321088079

ISBN10: 0321088077

Communication Research by Don W. Stacks, John E. Hocking and Steven T. McDermott - ISBN 9780321088079
Cover type: Print On Demand
Edition: 3RD 03
Copyright: 2003
Publisher: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
International: No
Communication Research by Don W. Stacks, John E. Hocking and Steven T. McDermott - ISBN 9780321088079

ISBN13: 9780321088079

ISBN10: 0321088077

Cover type: Print On Demand
Edition: 3RD 03

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Communication Research provides a reader-friendly introduction to social research in all communication-related disciplines.

While its emphasis is on science, this text covers rhetorical and historical research and emphasizes that their methodologies are complementary. Communication Research is designed to arm students with some of the essential critical thinking skills that are necessary to survive the information overload of the 21st century, helping them to sort the sense from the nonsense. Complex ideas are explained in a readable way without ever "dumbing down" the material.

Communication Research is placed squarely within the communication discipline and prepares students to succeed in all communication-related fields. Organized around the research process, this text provides students with the means to conduct, analyze and interact with research in the field of communication.

Features :

  • Provides an emphasis on information processing and independent critical thinking as the ultimate goal of the book.
  • Includes extensive coverage of the Internet, focus groups, and in-depth interviewing, providing students with key information on tools commonly used in today's workplaces.
  • Incorporates an awareness of ethical issues associated with conducting research on human participants, making sure that students understand that research is not conducted in a vacuum.
  • Offers an approach that has been called "the most readable research methods textbook currently available," making learning this subject less intimidating and helping persuade students of the value of social science research.
  • Treats statistics as simply a tool to help answer research questions -- placing little emphasis on statistics and more emphasis on how social research is consumed and conducted.

New To This Edition :

  • Places an increased emphasis on ethics, including a new section in Chapter 3 on academic honesty and plagiarism -- a topic not addressed in any other research methods book.
  • Includes a completely new chapter on applying communication research methods on the job, illustrating the potential students have to move into research-oriented jobs and arming them with techniques to be effective in those jobs.
  • Increases students' ability to be critical, informed consumers with new material throughout the text on becoming a better, more astute consumer of research that is presented through the mass media or in a work-related context.
  • Updates examples throughout, including communication-related, post-September 11th examples, ensuring that students understand how communication research relates directly to their lives.

Author Bio

Stacks, Don W. : University of Miami

Hocking, John E. : University of Georgia

McDermott, Steven T. : California Polytechnic State University

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Most chapters begin with "Objectives" and conclude with "Applying Knowledge in Communication," "Summary," "Probes," "Research Projects," "Suggested Reading," "Notes," and "References."



1. Asking and Answering Questions.

Research and Sources of Information.
Research and the Consumption of Information.
Asking Questions About Communication.

2. The Role of Theory in Communication Research.

Approaches to Studying Communication.
Theoretical Orientations.
Scientific Research and Theory.
Humanistic Research and Theory.

3. Considerations: Knowledge, Ethics, and Science.

Rules of Scholarship.
Treatment of Human Subjects (People).
Ethical Appropriateness.
A Parting Note.


4. Getting Started: Finding and Evaluating Documents.

Obtaining Documents.
Establishing the Parameters of Study.
The Role of Documents.
Primary versus Secondary Sources.
Finding Sources.
Establishing a Notation System.
Establishing a Document's Credibility.
Putting It All Together: The Literature Review.
Creating the End Product.

5. Evaluating Sources: Historical/Rhetorical-Critical Methodology.

An Overview of Historical Research.
Historical Methodology.
Rhetorical-Critical Methodology.
Limitations and Hazards in Historical Research.

6. Measurement Theory.

What is Measurement?
The Relationship Between Reliability and Validity.

7. Measurement Scales.

Attitudes as Examples of Intervening Variables.
Types of Measurement Scales.
Other Measurement Techniques.

8. Content Analysis

Uses of Content Analysis.
Defining the Method.
Conducting the Content Analysis.
Use of Computers in Content Analysis.
Advantages and Limitation of Content Analysis.

9. Qualitative/Descriptive (Participant-Observation/Focus Group/In-Depth Interview).

Focus Groups.
In-Depth Interviews.

10. Quantitative/Sampling.

Sampling Theory.
Nonprobability Sampling.
Probability Sampling.
Sample Selection.
Contacting Respondents.

11. Quantitative/Descriptive (Survey) Research.

Types of Descriptive Research.
The Survey as Descriptive Methodology.
Collecting the Data.
Structuring the Survey.
"Journalistic" Surveys.
Other Considerations.

12. The True Communication Experiment.

Establishing Relationships.
Establishing Causation.
Questions Appropriate for Experiments.
The Laboratory Experiment.
Role-Playing as an Alternative to Deception In Experiments.
Limitations of the Laboratory Experiment.

13. Experimental Strategies and Designs.

Quasi-Experimental Design.
External Validity.
More Complex Designs.


14. Descriptive Statistics.

Types of Data.
Coding Data for Analysis.
Describing Nonparametric Data.
Bivariate: Correlational Analysis.

15. Applications of Communication Research.

Various Applications of Communication Research.

16. Inferential Statistics.

Using Statistics to Test Hypotheses.
Nonparametric Statistics.
Parametric Analysis.

17. Bringing it Together: Writing and Presenting Research.

Preparing the Final Product.
Writing the Academic Research Report.
Writing the Nonacademic Research Report.
Visual and Oral Presentations.
Special Case: The Research Prospectus/Proposal.


Other Editions of Communication Research

Communication Research by Don Stacks and John Hocking - ISBN 9780321010018