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CAS 597 - Special Topic: Measurement in Communication Science

Professor: James Dillard
Office: 217 Sparks
Phone: (814) 865-7088
Email: jpd16@psu.edu

This course is concerned with the theory and technology of measuring variables relevant to the study of communication. The first part of the course focuses on how to devise and evaluate a conceptual definition, then create a corresponding operational definition. Part two addresses measures in which the symbols reflective of the phenomenon are ordered. Topics include indices of reliability, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. Part three emphasizes measurement of phenomena for which the symbols are not ordered (i.e., categories). It covers the creation and evaluation of coding schemes as they are used in verbal protocols, content analysis, and social interaction analysis as well as agreement indices of reliability.

Course Objectives

Students completing the course should be able to demonstrate:

  • Expertise in the core principles of measurement.
  • Knowledge of measurement strategies.
  • Proficiency in evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of pre-existing measures.
  • The ability to create valid and reliable measures.