Six Characteristics Of Scientific Method In Communication Research

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Scientific method is a process of establishing scientific knowledge in a logical and evidential manner (Bhattacherjee 2012, p. 3, p. 5). This process involved in research normally will include five general steps: begin with a research question, form a hypothesis, reasoning, design and conduct the study, lastly analyse the data and answer the question (Jones 2013, pp. 9-11). Generally, communication research is the use of scientific method to answer questions in communication studies. Specifically, it is an empirical research that uses quantitative and qualitative data to discover things ‘about communication phenomena’ (Jones 2013, p. 2, pp. 9-10). In my opinion, scientific method is the most suitable technique to be used for communication research amongst the methods of knowing.

Wimmer and Dominick (2014, pp. 10-13) point out six basic characteristics of scientific method, including ‘scientific research is public’, ‘science is objective’, ‘science is empirical’, ‘science is systematic and cumulative’, ‘science is predictive’ and ‘science is self-correcting’. These ideas are mainly drawn upon positivist theory, a belief that knowledge is created objectively through observable and testable procedures based on laws (Bryman 2012, p. 28). In my discussion, the six characteristics of scientific method will be arranged into two groups: (1) Public, systematic and cumulative, predictive, and self-correcting; (2) Objective and empirical.

In the contexts of public, systematic and

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