:::: Paradigms and Communication Theory ::::
Logical Positivism represents one particular way of
knowing. It asserts we gather information through our senses or we can
discover it though some type of logical derivation or mathematical modeling.
A crucial premise of positivism is that there are certain regularities in
nature which can be observed and/or discovered. These regularities are
called “laws”. Laws are universal. Another crucial concept is “causality”:
people communicate the way they do because some prior condition caused them
to respond to a message in certain ways; researchers using this paradigm
review the preceding conditions of communication to know cause and effect of
human communication. They believe they can explain our environment, predict
findings and eventually, control our environment. They also believe that
findings could be applied to anyone –generalization-- because laws transcend
time and space. (Based on Infante, D., Rancer, A., & Womack, D. (2003).
Building Communication Theory. Prospect Heights, Illinois: Waveland
Scientists using this paradigm believe reality is more
structured; they think it has an empirical character which allows them to
observe facts; they believe it is objective.
To see a model of the positivist paradigm, click
Danna Carballo, Fall 2003
New Media and New Markets @