ERIC Number: ED251886
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Future of Physiological Variables in Communication Theory.
Roberts, Charles V.; Steinfatt, Thomas M.
Speech communication workers have been reluctant to use physiological variables in their work. The arguments against their use have ranged from a fear of invading the realm of the psychologist or physiologist, thereby damaging the uniqueness and disciplinary identity of speech communication, to a feeling by certain scholars that the appropriate level of analysis and theorizing in communication research is that of physical behavior, cognition, and emotion. No research method or approach, however, is the exclusive property of any discipline. Similarly, theory and methodology are inexorably intertwined. It is logical to limit the methods used to inquire into a process, but only after gaining an understanding of that phenomenon. Precipitous selections of methodologies may hinder the discovery of important variables. The area of physiological variables has great potential for communcation research. Many of the problems with data collection encountered in the past are being eased by using computers to monitor physiological measuring instruments. Many speech communication theories derive from or involve physiological variables, and these require testing. Physiological variables can be measured with a degree of precision and accuracy usually unattainable with more common forms of communication measurement, and they can provide hard data with which to link communication research more firmly to the real world. Physiological measurement, however, should not be a communication researcher's only approach to a problem. It has value only when used in concert with other strategies. (RBW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Theory Development
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (70th, Chicago, IL, November 1-4, 1984).