How to Build Social Science Theories by Pamela J. Shoemaker

By Pamela J. Shoemaker

As straight forward as its title, How to construct Social technology Theories sidesteps the well-traveled highway of theoretical exam by way of demonstrating how new theories originate and the way they're elaborated. crucial analyzing for college kids of social technological know-how learn, this ebook strains theories from their such a lot rudimentary development blocks (terminology and definitions) via multivariable theoretical statements, versions, the position of creativity in idea construction, and the way theories are used and evaluated. Authors Pamela J. Shoemaker, James William Tankard, Jr., and Dominic L. Lasorsa intend to enhance examine in lots of components of the social sciences via making examine extra theory-based and theory-oriented.

The ebook starts with a dialogue of thoughts and their theoretical and operational definitions. It then proceeds to theoretical statements, together with hypotheses, assumptions, and propositions.  Theoretical statements desire theoretical linkages and operational linkages; this dialogue starts off with bivariate relationships, in addition to three-variable, four-variable, and additional multivariate relationships.  The authors additionally dedicate chapters to the artistic element of theory-building and the way to judge theories.

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Essentially, a dimension is a continuous variable that represents information about the differences among the values of a categorical variable. qxd 11/11/03 5:00 PM Page 23 Theoretical Concepts——23 studies, to identify the underlying dimensions, find ways to measure them, and then use the dimensions as independent and dependent variables. ” We could hypothesize that there is a relationship between the categorical variable type of news medium and the variable how accurate coverage of a breaking news event is.

Agree 3. Neutral 2. Disagree 1. Strongly disagree Each dimension of media credibility is measured using the same scale (see Babbie, 1998, pp. 141-145), and each can be considered an operational definition. It is also possible to combine the dimensions as measuring the construct credibility, as we will see at the end of this chapter. Operational Definitions in Experiments Variables in experiments are either manipulated or measured, and the type of operational definition will differ for each. Manipulated variables in experiments are independent variables.

For example, it might be the case that a little television violence has no discernible effect on aggression but that as viewing becomes heavier, aggression increases exponentially. Or the opposite might be true, so that just a taste of television violence might have a profound effect on aggression and additional increments have little added impact. The operational linkage describes explicitly how we think the concepts in our theoretical statement are related. In Chapter 4, we also introduce a particular and important kind of connection between concepts, the causal relationship.

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