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THINKING ABOUT THEORY

Lesson 2
INTRODUCTION

Fritz Heiries referred to everyday people


engaging in theoretical thinking as ‘naïve
psychologists’

Theory is defined as “an abstract system


of concepts with indications of the
relationships among these concepts that
help us to understand a phenomenon”
CLASSIFICATION OF THEORY

Classificat Explanation Examples


ion
Grand To explain all of Marxism Theory
theories communication behaviour in (Cultural Studies)
a manner that is universally
true
Mid- To explain the behaviour of a Uncertainty
range specific group of people or Reduction Theory
theories tries to explain the behaviour (URT)
of all people within a Janis Groupthink
specified time or context Theory
(Groupthink)
Narrow To explain a very limited Standpoint Theory
theories aspect of a phenomenon such claim about all
as Communication women but these
need to be modified
according to class
CSI FILE

Scenario :
A married man jumped from a 10 th floor of a
building.

Additional information:
In the crime scene area, a knife was found with a
note which stated “for you.” A woman’s shoe was
also found near the crime scene. There were
rumors going around that this man owe a lot of
money and he has numerous insurance policies.
QUESTIONS:

• What could have happen to this man? Group leader writes


down the group members assumption(s). It could be one
assumption or more than one. Assumptions - a thing that is
accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.

• Out of these assumptions, which is the most possible or most


important that could have let this person jump from 10 th
floor?

• Drive TWO (2) possible concepts based on your assumptions.

• Is there a possibility of connection of events relate to the


married man? Timeline of event that leads to the man
jumping down.
COMPONENTS OF THEORY

Assumptions - a thing that is accepted as


true or as certain to happen, without proof.

Concepts – words or terms that label the


most important elements in a theory

Relationships – specify the ways in which


the concepts in a theory are combined
GOALS OF A THEORY

A. Explanation - theories allow us to explain a


behavior that occurs.

B. Understanding - theories provide us a means


for understanding behaviors.

C. Prediction - theories allow us to predict future


behaviors.

D. Social change - theories may permit us to


empower groups or effect some sort of social
change in the environment.
THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN THEORY AND
EXPERIENCE

A. Hempel (1952) focused on the relationship between


theory and experience.
1. He pointed out that, while theory is abstract, it allows
us to understand real-life experiences and
observations.
2. 2. He encouraged people to modify theory as a result
of observations

B. Yerby (1995) uses the metaphor of theory as a "lens"


that allows us to see some things while ignoring others.
PARADIGMS

Paradigms are intellectual traditions or a way of viewing the


world commonly shared by a community of scholars.
1. Positivistic or Empirical Approach
2. Interpretive Approach
3. Critical Approach

Paradigms revolve around three areas representing three


philosophical questions concerning the research enterprise.

4. Ontology
5. Epistemology
6. Axiology
3 PHILOSOPHICAL
QUESTIONS

Ontology Epistemology Axiology


Meaning in Onto= Episteme= to Axia= value
Greek word existence, know/ to worth
being real understand
Questions ask • What is true? • What does
• What exists? knowledge
• What is real? mean?
• How does
the person
get to know
knowledge?
Explanation Questions How we know What is worth
about the things knowing
nature of
reality
From the A married man It was reported Why did he
THE PARADIGMS

Explanation The Scenario


Empirical Objective truth – that can Fact: People jumped down
be uncovered about from the 10th floor
human interactions building when things get
difficult or complicated
Interpreti Subjective truth – it is co- Possible reasons:
ve created by the He was pushed
participants involved in 3rd party involvements
the research process He loves his family
Critical It cannot exist without He died because there is a
ideology. Those in power greater force behind the
shape knowledge in ways story: the 3rd person could
that perpetuate the status be his boss or to save his
quo. Powerful people work family from further treats
at keeping themselves in
power, thereby silencing
the majority.
EVALUATING COMMUNICATION
THEORY/ WHAT MAKES A GOOD
THEORY

Areas Theory evaluations


Scope and The breadth and limitations of communication
boundarie behaviors covered by a
s theory.
Logical Theories should make sense and demonstrate how
consistenc concepts work together and what the results should be.
y
Claims made by the theory should be consistent with
the assumptions of the theory.
Parsimony It refers to the simplicity of the explanation provided
by a theory.
Utility It refers to a theory's usefulness or practical value.

Theories puts together the pieces of information in a


pattern that
was previously unclear (to make it clear).
EVALUATING COMMUNICATION
THEORY/ WHAT MAKES A GOOD
THEORY

Areas Theory evaluations


Testability It refers to our ability to investigate the accuracy of a
theory
Heurism Heurism refers to the amount of research and new
thinking that is
generated as a result of a theory.

Theories are judged to be "good" when they result in


additional research and thinking.
Test of The test of time involves whether theories are still
time generating research
or have been dismissed as being "outdated."

Theories can be evaluated only after some time has


passed since a
theory's creation.