In the chapters 11-13 of the book “Communication Research Methods,” written by Michael S. Nystul, the author delves into several key aspects of research design and methods that are commonly employed in communication research. The book provides a comprehensive overview of research methodologies, guiding students and researchers through the entire process of conducting communication research.
Chapter 11 focuses on experimental research design. It begins by discussing the goals and characteristics of experimental research, highlighting the importance of control and manipulation of variables. The author explains the differences between true experimental designs, quasi-experimental designs, and factorial designs. Nystul emphasizes the importance of random assignment, random sampling, and counterbalancing in experimental research to ensure validity and reliability.
The chapter further explores various experimental design variations, such as pretest-posttest designs, factorial designs, and within-subjects designs. Nystul provides clear explanations, examples, and guidelines for selecting and using each design. He also discusses threats to internal validity, such as maturation, history, and testing effects, and suggests ways to minimize these threats.
Chapter 12 focuses on survey research design. Nystul begins by discussing the advantages and limitations of survey research. He emphasizes the importance of representativeness and generalizability in survey research and discusses various probability and nonprobability sampling techniques. The author provides step-by-step guidelines for developing a survey questionnaire, including considerations for wording, response options, and question order. He also discusses common problems and biases in questionnaires and suggests ways to address them.
The chapter further explores the different types of survey research, such as cross-sectional surveys, longitudinal surveys, and panel surveys. Nystul discusses the advantages and limitations of each type and provides examples from communication research. He also discusses the process of survey data analysis, including data coding, cleaning, and statistical analysis techniques.
Chapter 13 focuses on qualitative research design. Nystul begins by discussing the philosophical underpinnings of qualitative research and the key differences between qualitative and quantitative research approaches. He emphasizes the importance of naturalistic inquiry and the exploration of meanings in qualitative research.
The chapter explores various qualitative research methods, such as interviews, observations, and content analysis. Nystul provides detailed explanations of each method, discussing the strengths and limitations of each. He also discusses various data collection techniques, such as open-ended interviews, structured interviews, and ethnographic observations.
Nystul further explores the process of qualitative data analysis, discussing techniques such as coding, categorizing, and thematic analysis. He also discusses the importance of reflexivity, validity, and reliability in qualitative research and suggests ways to enhance these aspects.
Overall, these chapters provide a comprehensive overview of experimental, survey, and qualitative research designs commonly used in communication research. Nystul’s clear explanations, examples, and step-by-step guidelines make the book a valuable resource for students and researchers in the field. The book not only helps readers understand the various research designs and methods but also provides practical guidance for conducting communication research effectively.