Welcome to the course guide for COMM 4372, Methods of Research in Communication. This guide is designed to help with both print and electronic resources available through the University Library as you investigate social scientific research methods and designs.
Qualitative Methods - Qualitative research is designed to explore the human elements of a given topic, where specific methods are used to examine how individuals see and experience the world. Qualitative methods are best for addressing many of the why questions that researchers have in mind when they develop their projects. Qualitative approaches are typically used to explore individuals’ thoughts, feelings, or interpretations of meaning and process.
Quantitative Methods - Quantitative approaches are appropriate for examining who has engaged in a behavior or what has happened, but these techniques are not designed to explain why certain behaviors occur. Quantitative methods involve the collection of data in numerical form from ratings, incidents, scores, scales, etc.
Mixed Methods - The combined use of both quantitative and qualitative methodoligies to address a single research question.
Video Clip Description: Refer to this timeframe (16:54, to 21:11) for a description of qualitative vs. quantitative data research methods in sociological investigation.
Video Title: Truth Be Told: Sociological Investigation
Video Description: Sociological research and methodology is often the subject of fierce debate among sociologists. The pursuit of objectivity in sociological research, Critical Sociology, and the idea of Sociology as a science...each has transformed the way sociologists approach sociological research. This lesson also includes discussion of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, and how these approaches are utilized in sociological research.