Traditions of Writing Research

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A field of communication or communication studies includes rhetoric, media studies, management, public relations, journalism, performance studies, popular culture studies, and media production, among others. Indeed, at many universities these unique but interrelated areas might be found in their own separate departments or programs. This diversity helps to explain the theoretical fluidity of the field.


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Research Traditions and History of Measurement

Yi Ren. Mark Shaw.


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      Research Traditions and History of Measurement

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      The roots of this scaling tradition are in psychophysics with E. Thorndike, Thurstone, Guttman, Lazarsfeld and Rasch, the major contributors. The test score tradition focuses on total test scores, and the linear decomposition of these scores into true scores and error components. The original work was initiated by Spearman [who originated the psychometric use of the term "reliability"].

      Two current approaches to measurement theory in the test score tradition involve the application of analysis of variance procedures by Cronbach and his colleagues , , and the use of factor analysis to provide a framework for addressing measurement issues related to reliability and validity Joreskog, , A central task in the history of measurement theory is to examine progress.

      Writing a Research Proposal

      The evaluation of how far we have come towards the solution of key empirical and conceptual problems in educational and psychological measurement is a comparative process. The concept of research traditions can play an important role in structuring our thoughts about progress in measurement theory. Three major steps in this evaluation are 1 development of criteria for comparing theories, 2 identification of major theories, and 3 comparison of theories based on these criteria. I am applying this approach to one of the basic puzzles in the history of measurement theory: why did the test score tradition become the dominant tradition in the practice of educational and psychological testing?

      Thorndike's work at the beginning of the 20th century is clearly in the scaling tradition. Strong arguments can be made for considering him the father of item response theory.

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      Yet even his own student, Ben Wood, ended up aligned with the test score tradition. Thurstone's work on absolute scaling was certainly familiar to all measurement theorists. Yet our research publications are still more likely to report KR20's and alpha coefficients than calibrated items on maps of variables of the kind used by Thurstone in the 's.