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Of Paradigms, Theories, and Models: A Conceptual Hierarchical Structure for Communication Science and Technoself

Of Paradigms, Theories, and Models: A Conceptual Hierarchical Structure for Communication Science and Technoself
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Author(s): Luciano L’Abate (Georgia State University, USA)
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 21
Source title: Handbook of Research on Technoself: Identity in a Technological Society
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Rocci Luppicini (University of Ottawa, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2211-1.ch005

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Abstract

This chapter attempts to define and clarify differences among paradigms, theories, and models in communication science according to a hierarchical conceptual structure or pyramidal flowchart. A paradigm is an overarching, speculative world-view that represents the value system of researchers and scholars who claim to follow it loyally. A theory is a conceptual framework that is amenable to indirect empirical evaluation through interrelated models. A model is a construct defined and evidenced by one or more dimensions that are amenable to empirical verification. Examples of such structure are provided from a general example, from Family Communication, from Communication Science in general, and more specifically from Relational Competence Theory (RCT). Models from RCT are then related to models from Communication Science, including also written communication. Writing allows to link models of RCT to specific workbooks or interactive practice exercises that permit evaluation of models in a more dynamic manner than inert psychological tests. Communications based on distance writing are becoming an important component of techno-self in their multifarious applications to mental health, including promotion of health and prevention and treatment of mental illnesses. From a past auditory/ verbal self, these applications imply a present/digital/visual self.

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