Thursday, March 31, 2016

GlobalMedia: International Journalism: Being a Journalist in a Foreign Place (W13-P3)Sp16


Imagine being a journalist in a far off land.

Wouldn't be easy, would it?

First, you may, depending on where you are and what you are covering, be physically harmed or killed.  See Anderson Cooper clip below, for just one example.  




And, if you are curious, check out some recent news about about foreign journalists being hurt or killed in the past year month.


It is also not easy being a foreign journalist because you may misread/misunderstand what you are covering in that foreign land.  It is a challenge.




P. Eric Louw, in his chapter "Journalist Reporting from Foreign Places" in Global Journalism: Topical Issues and Media Systems (4th Edition), writes about the challenges of being a foreign journalist.






Thesis of chapter:
  • “Journalist coverage of foreign places increasingly influences the governance of those places.” (e.g., CNN effect.)
  • “The emergence of international governance based on foreign news-driven mediated realities has inherent dangers."

“Double Misreadings”?
  • “Relying on the news media to understand distant places inherently produces a double misreading because…”
    • Journalist can misread the news event and
    • We (the audience) can misread what the journalist is saying.
  • “journalists generally are not equipped to read distant contexts, and neither are their audiences."


Journalist misread for several reasons.
  1. “First, journalists arriving in a new context are foreigners [who don’t know the history, the religions, etc.]
  2. “Misreadings also occur because journalists carry their cultural biases with them when reporting in a foreign context.”
    1. e.g. American values/ways of doing things being seen as normal. Seeing foreign ways as “incomprehensible” or “despicable”.
  3. “…the journalistic practice of deploying simplistic labels.” 
    1. Taking a complex, sometimes chaotic situation/place and putting into 20 words or less and putting it in a way that U.S. audience will relate to.  “ethnic cleansing” label “white supremacy” label used in coverage of S.A.
  4. “…journalists routinely use binary oppositions when describing foreign contexts”   Related to #3  
    1. Common characters in a news story: “good guys” vs. “bad guys” Other characters?  Common plot?  Again, oversimplification.
  5. “…when sent to report on foreign contexts, journalists tend to (subconsciously) select contacts with whom they feel comfortable working…”
  6. “…foreign issues are read in terms of ‘home’ understandings and agendas.” 
    1. e.g., S.A. anti-apartheid struggle = U.S. civil rights struggle.  Similar to # 3


What if we took these ways of misreading and applied them to Andersen Cooper's work?
Any misreading in his reporting?


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GlobalMedia: International Journalism: The CNN Effect & the Social Media Effect [VID] (W13-P2)


In his book, Global Communication: Theories, Stakeholders, and Trends, Thomas McPhail defines the CNN effect as "the process by which the coverage of a foreign event by CNN causes that event to be a primary concern for its audience, which in turn forces the federal government to act."  One could add to the U.S. government, then as part of its foreign policy, may influence foreign governments/peoples through direct action (e.g., war) or through sanctions.  See video clip below.



Does CNN still have this influence on foreign policy?  Any other news networks, U.S. or otherwise, have this influence?  Any other form of media now has this influence?  Think: Arab Spring (see first 2 minutes).  Think: Kony2012 (see short clip).  What role does social media play in shaping foreign policy?  How's that process work?

The "social media effect" is defined here as the process by which the coverage of an event on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube  etc. causes that event to be a primary concern for its audiences around the world, which in turn forces foreign governments to act, thus further influencing the event.

See clip below for more the idea of social media effect.






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GlobalMedia: International Journalism: Rodman, North Korea & Theories of the Press (W13-P1)



What are your reactions to Rodman talking with Kim Jong-un first in 2013.  Rodman continues his relationship with the North Korean leader.

Example of ping-pong diplomacy? See Chinese 'ping-pong diplomacy' player dies.
A better term for this type of diplomacy might be sports diplomacy?

What type of press system does North Korea have?  See What is the North Korean media like?

Things changing in N. Korea? See Live From North Korea, An Instagram Feed



In the late 1950s Siebert, Peterson and Schramm (Wilbur) identified four types of press systems that existed in countries up until the 1950s.

They published their findings in their book titled Four Theories of the Press: The Authoritarian, Libertarian, Social Responsibility and Soviet Communist Concepts of What the Press Should Be and Do (Illini Books)

In the book they highlight the relationship between the form of government that a nation has and the press that operates within it.



The four theories:

  1. Authoritarian
    1. Purpose of the Press: To serve and promote the government/rulers
    2. Ownership of Press: private or public
    3. Notes/Examples: England/Western European countries 19th century and before; Afghanistan under the Taliban
  2. Soviet-Communist
    1. Purpose of the Press: To serve and promote the government or the Communist party
    2. Ownership of Press: public
    3. Notes/Examples: Soviet Union and other communist countries
  3. Libertarian
    1. Purpose of the Press: To inform (i.e., present the facts) and monitor the government
    2. Ownership of Press: Mostly private
    3. Notes/Examples: England
  4. Social Responsibility
    1. Purpose: To monitor the government.  While another purpose is to inform (i.e., present the facts to) the citizens, this press system goes beyond just presenting the facts to promoting understanding and discussion/debate related to those facts.  
    2. Ownership of Press: Private
    3. Notes/Examples: U.S., Canada

What would it be like being a journalism student or a journalist working in these different press systems?

Do you think that these four theories still adequately describe the types of press systems that operate in the countries of today?  Does, for example, the introduction of social media, require modifications to the four theories?

The work of Siebert, Peterson and Schramm has received criticism and updating.  If you are interested, see for example the following books.


Last Rights: Revisting Four Theories of the Press (History of Communication)

Normative Theories of the Media: Journalism in Democratic Societies (History of Communication)






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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

ResearchMethods: Research Ethics: Ethical Questions a Researcher Should Ask (W12/13-P2) Sp16

Below are some ethical questions a researcher should ask when doing research, especially with human subjects.

1) Do subjects have free choice?

  • Free choice

    • Informed consent
    • Briefing/Debriefing - clear up any deception

    2) Are subjects shown respect?

  • Respect - e.g. sexism, racism


  • 3) Are subjects compensated in some way for their time and effort?

  • Compensation

    • Manus manum lavat = “one hand washes the other”

    4) Are the data collected kept safe and carefully analyzed?


  • When analyzing data--

    • Careful data handing
    • Careful data analysis

    5) Are data made available to other researchers?

  • When reporting data--

    • Keep data and make data available, if asked.

    6) What are the effects of your research on others after it is reported?  Does good?  Harm?
    • Using results

      • Consider the effects of research on those who use the results or are affected by them.


      What would you do?  A Test: Some Cases: What is Ethics in Research & Why is it Important?  After following this link, scroll down to the case studies.


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      ResearchMethods: Research Ethics: Tuskegee, Lacks, Milgram & Zimbardo (W12/13-P1) Sp16 [VID]


      Research ethics are the moral principles and rules that guide a researcher’s actions.

      Why talk about research ethics?  What is the need?

      To answer that question, let's look at some important research studies from the past.
      When watching these clips ask yourself what ethical concerns are raised in doing this research.

      1) Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment




      2) The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks




      3 & 4) Milgram's Authority Study & The Stanford Prison Experiment
      (Watch from 0:00 to about 6:30)



      What are the ethical concerns with the research that Milgram and Zimbardo did? Would you feel comfortable doing this research? Would such research be allowed today?


      O.K., now that you have some knowledge of these past experiments do you have an answer to the questions asked earlier?  Why talk about research ethics?  What is the need?


      What is the role of university research review boards?

      Human Subjects Review Board:
      “It is university policy that all projects involving risk to human subjects must be approved by the University Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects for Funded Research. Approval is based on established university, state and sponsoring agency guidelines for the protection of the rights and welfare of subjects at risk”

      Why have IRBs?


      What are some of the regulations regarding research and IRBs?


      So, getting IRB approval would be a time-consuming task for researchers, yes?

      Should researchers have more IRB discretion?


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      Monday, March 28, 2016

      DigPhotog: Diversity & Digital Photography - Docs on Parks and Maier [VID] (W12-P1) Fa16

      This week we look at documentaries about two famous photographers named Vivian Maier and Gordon Parks.


      Finding Vivian Maier Official US Theatrical Trailer


      Searching for Vivian Maier



      Half Past Autumn: The Life and Work of Gordon Parks



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      Thursday, March 24, 2016

      GlobalMedia: Development Communication (cont'd): Entertainment Education (W11-P1) Sp16


      The idea of presenting a development message within a fictional program is the type of development communication that is called entertainment education.  The World Bank is a multinational organization that uses entertainment education in their work.  See the video below for examples and background information.




      Below is another example of entertainment education.  Tim Reid, noted Norfolk State University alumnus and actor/director/producer, and NSU students (Maryna Kariuk and Shimira Cole) were involved in the making of "Hear My Son".  How exactly is this an example of entertainment education?


      Hear My Son from Legacy Media Institute on Vimeo.


      Interested in learning more about entertainment education, I'd recommend starting with a book edited by Arvind Singhal, Michael J. Cody, Everett M. Rogers and Miguel Sabido called
      Entertainment-Education and Social Change: History, Research, and Practice (Routledge Communication Series)




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      Tuesday, March 22, 2016

      ResearchMethods: Validity, Reliability, Etc.: Internal and External Validity + Sampling (W11-P1) Sp16

      Sampling

      Sampling is the process of selecting subjects for a study.  Generally, the subjects are the specific people studied in an experiment or surveyed.  The sample is chosen out of a larger population.

      Why sample?  The population you are studying is too large to study, so you have to study just a part of that population (a sample).

      What could be some problems with sampling (examples of poor sampling)?  Bias sample?

      To reduce the problems of poor sampling, you want to use random sampling when you can.  In random sampling all members of a population have an equal chance of getting into sample.













      ------------


      What are internal and external validity?

      With this type validity we are looking at the validity of the overall study, not just the validity of the instruments being used to measure the variables.

      You are asking the question: Is it a valid study? Not: Is it a valid instrument?



      Internal validity: Are the conclusions to be trusted for the particular study?  Or, are the results valid for the subjects in your sample.   For a visual representation just look the orange circle at the top. The black dots inside the orange circle are the subjects in the sample.


      External validity: To whom do the conclusions apply? Generalizability of findings.  The results, can they be generalized to the larger populations   For a visual representation see the orange circle within the pinkish-purple circle.  The orange circle represents the sample and pinkish-purple circle represents the larger population.




      Question: Could you have very poor internal validity, but good external validity?

      --------

      If something goes wrong in a study, who can you blame it on?   That is, if the study is not getting valid results, who can you blame it on? And you can't blame it on the alcohol.  :)

      What are some threats to a study’s internal validity?   Or, put another way, where can you put the blame?
      • Threats due to researcher (e.g., influence results).  
      • Threats due to how research is conducted (e.g., inaccurate, inconsistent research, poorly designed survey)
      • Threats due to research subjects
        • Hawthorne effect
        • mortality - loosing people from a study (due to death, etc.)
        • maturation - internal change explains behavior.  In studies done over a period of time the subjects may change.
      Example: 4 year study of film viewing and levels of prejudice. Subjects= college students.
      See any possible threats to internal validity?


      What are some threats to a study’s external validity?
      • Research procedures don’t reflect everyday life
        • ecological validity
      • Different finding, same sample
        • replication is important
      • Poor sampling


      Any problems with studies done at universities?
      Generalizability problem?



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      Monday, March 21, 2016

      DigPhotog: Controlling Light: What is HDR photography and what is it good for? [VID] (W11-P3) Sp16


      You've heard of HDR photos?

      What is an HDR photo? What does HDR stand for? What type of photography is HDR good for?What apps (software) are needed?

      How To: HDR photography for iPhone and Android (CNET TV)


      What is bracketing and what does it have to do with HDR photos?
      In short, bracketing is "taking the same photo more than once using different settings for different exposures"




      Secrets of Amazing HDR Photography (revision3)
      See the first 5 minutes or so.  Save the remaining for later when we discuss photo editing.


      Check out some fine HDR photos at BlametheMonkey.com.  When looking at the photos on this site slide the vertical line back and forth to see the standard version of the photo vs. the HDR version.  
      Also see comparisons at Tim Clarke's site.  What is the difference between a normal photo and a HDR photo?  What preferences do you have?  Do you like HDR photos?  Pros and cons of HDR?



      Quick HDR Landscape Tutorial
      Play from 0:00 to 2:15.  Save the remaining for later when we discuss photo editing.


      What is spot metering and what does it have to do with HDR photography?
      Spot metering is a setting on a camera in which "the photographer [takes] control over exactly which portion of the frame [or image in the view finder] the meter should use to determine proper exposure."


      Pro HDR App Tutorial on iPhone 4 (with Example Images!)


      Pro-HDR - an app that allows you to take HDR photos.
      Note: Try the free version first, if you can find it.

      Another HDR app that is currently available as a free version is HDR FX Photo Editor (Free) which is available on Android.

      There is also a limited HDR feature on iPhones and iPads. Check this video, if interested.


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      DigPhotog: Controlling Light: White Balance (W11-P2) Sp16


      Photo credit: Anthony Quintano (cc)
      Ever taken a photo like the one to the right where the photo looks a little yellowish?  This is a lighting problem. More specifically, this is a white balance problem.

      Miokte defines white balance as "the camera setting used to correct any subtle color shifts in an image that sometimes occur in different kinds of light.  The white balance setting can be set by either the camera or the photographer, depending on the camera model."

      Whenever you take a photograph and you have your camera set on automatic, your camera looks out into the world and makes decisions about what settings to use for ISO, shutter speed and f-stop.  We've discussed this previously.  Along with ISO, shutter speed and f-stop, the camera also makes decisions about the white balance.  And, sometimes it makes a good decision and sometimes it makes a bad decision (like in the photo to the right).  When your camera can't seem to get it right, that is the time for you to step in and change the white balance yourself.  But, how?  Why?



      Now with some basics out of the way, let's see specifically how to use white balance setting when taking a photo.





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      DigPhotog: Exposure and Histograms (W11-P1) Sp16


      In the field of statistics, a histogram is "a graphical representation of the distribution of data."  The histogram below shows the distribution of black cherry trees according to height.  Note that there are many trees between 70 and 80 inches tall and a few that are 60-65 inches tall and even fewer that are 85-90 inches tall.













      Graphic credit: Mwtoews. Used under Creative Commons

      In the field of photography, a histogram is defined in a similar way.  It is a graphical representation of data.  But, what data?  A histogram for a photograph is "a graphical representation of the tonal distribution in a digital image.  It plots the number of pixels for each tonal value."  The tones in a photograph range from shadows (the darker areas or pixels) to midtones (grey areas or pixels) to highlights (the white or bright areas of the photograph).  A photograph which is underexposed, for example, would have lots of shadow.

      For visuals and further discussion see the videos below.



      A key question: How could you use a histogram to determine if your photos have proper exposure?




      A good app for showing the histogram on both iOS and Android is called PicsPlay.  Get the free version first.


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      Tuesday, March 8, 2016

      Some More Secrets of Academic Success: Best Study Tips


      Some more secrets.




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      Thursday, March 3, 2016

      GlobalMedia: Development Communication: Diffusion of Innovations (W8-P3) Sp16

      Previously, development communication was defined as: "the use of communication technology and principles to aid in the development of a society."

      Below is an example of a set of communication principles (or a theory) that has a long history of being applied to aid in development.

      ---

      Everett Rogers
      Diffusion of Innovations as an Approach to Development.

      Everett Rogers wrote Diffusion of Innovations (1962, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2003).

      What is an innovation?
      • An idea, object or practice...
      • Perceived as new...
      • By an individual or organization.


      What is the diffusion of innovations?
      • An innovation ...
      • Communicated via channels...
      • Over time...
      • Among the members of a social system.




      CHARACTERISTICS OF INNOVATIONS
      The characteristics (or attributes) of innovations, as perceived by individuals, help to explain their rate of adoption.  Characteristics of innovations are one important set of variables influencing the rate of adoption.

      1. Relative Advantage
        1. Relative advantage is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as being better than the idea it supersedes
        2. e.g. economic profitability, decrease in discomfort, savings in time and effort, immediacy of reward
      2. Compatibility
        1. Compatibility is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as consistent with existing values, past experiences, and needs of potential adopters.
        2. Example: rap music and the role of MTV in making rap accessible and acceptable for all youth (Black & White).
      3. Complexity
        1. Complexity is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as relatively difficult to understand and use.
        2. Example: DOS vs. Windows
      4. Trialability
        1. Trialability is the degree to which an innovation may be experimented with on a limited basis.
      5. Observability
        1. Observability is the degree to which the results of an innovation are visible to others.
        2. Examples: solar panels & DBS, PrimeStar, DISH and the like

      Given the above, how could diffusion of innovations (a communication theory) be used in development work?   How could diffusion of innovations be used to fight a health issue in a community or developing nation?  How could you use the characteristics of innovations to better fight a health issue in a community or developing nation?



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      GlobalMedia: Development Communication: A History (Marshall Plan, etc.) (U8-P2) Sp16


      "Uncle" Wilbur
      A Historical Sketch of Development Communication

      First a quick overview...

      Dr. Wilbur Schramm
      Founder of the social science study of communication (late 40s-50s) and key founder of development communication.
      • 1950s: 
        • Post-WWII & Cold War -- Newly independent nations struggling (the “terrible ascent”)
      • 1960s: 
        • Schramm: How to help them? His answer: w/ mass media - “the great multiplier.” Need to bring in mass media technology.
      • 1970s: 
        • Many countries implemented mass media programs.
      • 1980s: 
        • 1) Concern with “Neo-imperialism”
        • Hamid Mowlana
        • 2) Mowlana: users of mass media blind to the importance of traditional forms of communication in some societies/cultures. “Technology vs. Tradition” (Mowlana)
      • 1990s: 
        • Use of mass media to aid in development, but w/ caution regarding culture. Example: AIDS/HIV education in radio program in Tanzania & TV soap opera in China (Rogers)
      • 2000s: 
        • New issues and use of new communication technologies
      (Sources: based on Mowlana, 1996, 1997, Stevenson, 1993, Rogers, 1997)



      Now back to the 40s and 50s...

      Coming out of World War II the U.S. was in good shape (economically, politically, etc.), but many of the nations of Europe faced problems.

      To get a sense of the problem faces see CNN Perspectives Presents Cold War. (See also background info on this CNN series.)

      Some of the series is available online.  As you watch the clips below pay close attention to the Marshall Plan.  What relationship does it have to development communication?

      U.S. provided $$ and expertise in "reconstructing" Europe. U.S. foreign policy (lead by Truman) changed isolationism to “active leadership.” The U.S. offered the Marshall Plan* (more on Marshall Plan from CNN).

      See the clips 0:00 to 1:50 and from about 20:30 to 28:00



      Why should the U.S. help European countries after WWII?

      1. humanitarian concerns (White Man’s Burden again?)
      2. stop spread of communism!

      Truman Doctrine: to defend freedom & democracy worldwide.

      Edward T. Hall
      After reconstructing Europe Truman offered the world “the benefits of our [U.S.] scientific advances and industrial progress… for the improvement and growth of underdeveloped areas.”

      This was called the Point Four Program. (Director, Edward Hall)
      One of the key tasks taken on by Hall was teaching U.S. diplomats intercultural communication skills. The formal study of intercultural communication can be traced back to Hall and this program.  Hall has been called the founding father of intercultural communication study.

      The government lacked knowledge on how to develop nations, so they turned to academia. Development theories were developed in economics, psychology, political science, sociology, and communication. For example, Wilbur Schramm offered his theory/approach to development.  By the mid-70s, development programs were recognized an ineffective. Schramm, Rogers and others recognized the faults.

      Everett M. Rogers
      What was wrong? According to Rogers (1976)
      The old way of doing development programs had the following errors:

      1. They assume infinite economic growth, ignore problems like population growth, pollution, etc., and do not take into account the "quality of life."
      2. They emphasize technology and capital rather than labor, thus encouraging economic dependence on advanced countries. Low priority to agriculture.
      3. It blames the developing countries for their failings, ignoring external factors beyond their control.
      4. It takes an ethnocentric (Western) bias by emphasizing the modernization of "traditional" individuals.
      (Sources: International Encyclopedia of Communication, "Development Communication," 1989; "Marshall Plan" Britannica Online.].).

      NOTE: Three of the scholars mentioned above (Mowlana, Hall and Rogers) were professors of mine.  They are part of my intellectual family.  And, now you are part of this intellectual family too.  As for Schramm, it actually turns out that I might be biologically related to "Uncle Wilbur."  Born in the same small city, graduated from same undergrad college, same family tree roots, etc.


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      GlobalMedia: Development Communication: Some Key Terms (W8-P1) Sp16



      Define/explain the terms development, development communication and development journalism.


      Development: "purposive changes undertaken in a society to achieve what may be regarded generally as a different ('improved') state of social and economic affairs"(Hern├índez-Ramos & Schramm, 1989).


      Development projects typically focus on certain areas/issue of a society (e.g. agriculture, health, nutrition, family planning, women's empowerment, etc.)

      Development communication: the use of communication technology and principles to aid in the development of a society.


      Development journalism: a 'branch' of development communication in which news media are used.
      Journalism: "the collection and editing of news for presentation through the media"(M-W Dictionary)



      If you had lots of money (through a grant, etc.) and you wanted to do good in the world, what would you do?  If you wanted to help with some health issue in another country, what would you do?
      If you wanted to help and you wanted to put your media knowledge and media skills to use, what would you do?



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      Tuesday, March 1, 2016

      ResearchMethods: Validity, Reliability, Etc.: Definitions (Written and Visual) (W8-P3) Sp16

      You operationalize your variables in order to measure them.
      So, now let's talk about measurement and related concepts.

      When measuring your variables you may ask yourself...
      Is my measure “on target”?   That is, are my measurements accurate?
      Do my measures “cluster together”?  That is, am I getting consistent results?

      But what does that mean?

      What we are talking about is validity and reliability.

      Let's start by thinking about how to measure prejudice in people. How would you do that? A survey? What would the questions be on the survey?  Your measure of prejudice needs to be valid and reliable.  Are you sure they are valid and reliable?   Are you accurately measure the level of prejudice in a person with your survey?  Does your survey get the same results with the same person each time?


      Validity: “the extent that scales or questions do measure what they are thought to measure”(Stacks & Hocking).

      You can think of validity using a target metaphor.  Is it on target (i.e.,  near the bulls eye)?
      Each "shot" on the target represents a measurement.




      Or think of a bathroom scale.  What does it meen to say a bathroom scale is valid or not?


      2012_May_03_Bathroom Scale_008
      Photo by elcamino73. Used under Creative Commons.

      If you get on your bathroom scale and it says 3 pounds or 1723 pounds, then your scale is broken. It is not right.  It is not valid.  Not only is your scale broken, the results (3, 1723) are not valid measures of your weight.

      ------------------

      A related concept to validity is reliability.

      Before looking at a formal definition of reliability, just think of the everyday use of that word.  If you say your friend is reliable, what does that mean?   It means you can count on your friend. Every time that you call on that friend they are there.  Not sometimes.  All the time.  They are consistent.  The formal definition of reliability is similar.

      Reliability: “the extent to which measurement yields numbers (data) are consistent, stable, and dependable.” (Stacks & Hocking).

      Again, let's use some metaphors to see the concept.




































      What about a bathroom scale and reliability?  What does it mean to say that a bathroom scale is reliable?


      2012_May_03_Bathroom Scale_008
      Photo by elcamino73. Used under Creative Commons.




      Can an instrument can be reliable, but not valid. That is, cluster together, but not be on target?


















      If you had a bathroom scale that was reliable, but not valid, what results would you get if you weighted yourself several times?




      Example

      Let's say we are interested in the topic of communication apprehension.  More specifically, we are interested in the relationship between gender and communication apprehension.  Do men or women have higher levels of communication apprehension?  How would we go about answering that question?

      How would we measure communication apprehension in our subjects (the people we are studying)?  We could observe.  What about a survey?  Yeah, let's do a survey.  Something like below.

      -------------------------------------
      Conversation Apprehension Scale

      1. While participating in a conversation with a new acquaintance, I feel very nervous.
      Strongly Agree --- Moderately Agree --- Neutral --- Moderately Disagree --- Strongly Disagree

      2. I have no fear of speaking up in conversations.
      Strongly Agree --- Moderately Agree --- Neutral --- Moderately Disagree --- Strongly Disagree

      3. Ordinarily I am very tense and nervous in conversations.
      Strongly Agree --- Moderately Agree --- Neutral --- Moderately Disagree --- Strongly Disagree

      4. Ordinarily I am very calm and relaxed in conversations.
      Strongly Agree --- Moderately Agree --- Neutral --- Moderately Disagree --- Strongly Disagree

      ------------------------------------


      Think of this survey as a measuring instrument, just like a bathroom scale. The bathroom scale measures your weight and this survey would measure your communication apprehension.

      Does our instrument (the above survey) have good measurement validity and measurement reliability? How would you determine that?

      Measurement validity:
      “the extent to which researchers are actually measuring the concepts they intend to measure”(FBFK)
      Do the instruments give accurate/true readings?

      Measurement reliability:
      “the extent to which measurements of a variable are consistent and trustworthy”(FBFK)
      Do the instruments continue to give the same readings every time they are used?


      What are the procedures for checking an instrument’s reliability?

      Similar results every time?
      0% = Not reliable to 100% highly reliable

      Three Ways to Check Instrument’s Reliability
      1. Test and retest it.
      2. Test, change wording slightly, retest.
      3. Compare 1/2 items to the other 1/2

      3 options, Not step-by-step
      Which option is best?  Costs and benefits?

      --------------



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      ResearchMethods: Operationalization: Levels of Measurement (W8-P2) Sp16


      As you are determining what your variables are and how you are going to measure them, it is also helpful to have clearly in mind what type of data (or level of measurement) you will be using.  This is especially helpful when you are doing statistical analysis on the data later in the research process.

      Recall the earlier discussion of types of variables?  Nominal variable and ordered variables, right?
      Now, let's expand that "ordered" type to get a total of four types of variables or levels of measurement.



      The above video covers nominal, ordinal and interval.  Note the addition of ratio below.  What's the difference between interval and ration?

      Level
      Can be
      Ranked?
      Equal
      Distance
      Zero-Point
      Example Variables
      NominalNoN/AN/AGender
      OrdinalYesNoN/AList of most preferred TV shows
      IntervalYesYes
      Arbitrary
      Has + & -
      Agreement on Likert-Scale
      RatioYesYes
      Absolute
      0 = absence
      Amount of time talking


      Nominal level:
      • nominal variables are classified into categories (names)
      • They are not arranged in any particular order
      • e.g., frequency counts, percentages.
        • 48% male and 52% female
        • 32% Catholic, 20% Baptist, etc.
      Ordinal level:
      • categories are ordered from highest to lowest
      • intervals between categories are not standardized
        • e.g., frequency counts, percentages
      Interval level:
      • categories are ranked
      • assumed equal distances between ranks
      • Arbitrary zero-point
        • e.g. temperature - 0 degrees doesn’t mean the absence of temperature. Scale has + & - values.
      • Another example: Likert-Scale
      Ratio Level:
      • categories are ranked
      • Equal distances between rank
      • Absolute Zero point.   Zero means the absence of the thing you are measuring and there is no negative value.
      • e.g.,  age, weight, number of words in a sentence, etc.


      What is the connection between a horse race and levels of measurement?
      Horse race























      Photo used under Creative Commons.


      How would the MythBusters research (viewed earlier) fit in here?  Did they operationalize their variables?  How? At what level?

      Busting Myths: Asking Questions, Finding Answers


      If you are interested, see also Do Larger Breasts Equal Bigger Tips? | MythBusters

      Note: The level of measurement (or kind/type of data) you have will determine what statistics you use.  More on this later.


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      ResearchMethods: Operationalizing Your Variables (W8-P1) [VID] Sp16



      Once your variables have been identified, then they will need to be measured, but how?   And, what does an operational definition have to do with it?

      What is an operational definition?  What does it mean to operationalize a variable?

      "Operational definition" is "a statement that describes the observable characteristics of a concept being investigated…”(Frey, et. al).  Or, put differently, an operational definition “specifies the procedures [or operations] the researcher uses to observe the variables” (Stacks, et.al).  Notice how the second definition indicates why it is called "operational."

      Both I.V.s & D.V.s need O.D.s.   Operational definitions allow you to measure a variable.

      What does the following Jeff Foxworthy comedy have to do with operationalization?  What is Foxworthy doing in his jokes?  Is he operationally defining something?




      ----
      Operationalization Examples:

      1. Let's say you are going to do some research on prejudice, how would you operationalize prejudice?

      • Start with the conceptual definition or dictionary definition:
        • “the irrational hatred or suspicion of a particular group, race, religion, or sexual orientation”(Jandt).
      • What would the operational definition be?  How would you measure prejudice?

      What are the basic “operational procedures” or ways of measuring variables?

      Operational procedures:
      1. Self-report 
        1. the researcher asks subjects to report about themselves
      2. Observer’s ratings 
        1. researcher asks subject to observer and rate another
      3. Observe behavior
        1. researcher observes subject
      Which method would you trust more?  Which would give a more valid measure?  Why?

      How would you use these procedures with prejudice or violence?  Which would "work" better?



      2. Let's say you are going to do some research on violence and video games, how would you operationalize violence?

      • Conceptual/dictionary definition of violence: "exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse" (Merriam-Websters)
      • 2/12/13 NYT news article about recent research on video games and violence
      • See an example of recent video game and violence research:

      3. Let's say you are going to do some research on the effects of television on children, what would be the variables you'd study and how would you operationalize them?




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