Social Science Approach to the Study of Communication

Behavioral Scientist
A scholar who applies the scientific method to describe, predict, and explain recurring forms of human behavior
Rhetorician
A scholar who studies the ways in which symbolic forms can be used to identify with people, or to persuade them toward a certain point of view
Objective Approach
The assumption that truth is singular and is accessible through unbiased sensory observation; committed to uncovering cause-and-effect relationships
Interpretive Approach
The linguistic work of assigning meaning or value to communicative texts; assumes that multiple meanings or truths are possible
Empirical Evidence
Data collected through direct observations
Emancipation
Liberation from any form of political, economic, racial, religious, or sexual oppression; empowerment
Metatheory
Theory about theory; the stated or inherent assumptions made when creating a theory