Definitions of theory
Theories and Models are concepts without a universal definition or meaning, rather scholars, experts, and researchers have tried to define and explain theory based on their perceptions, and background among others. No doubt, a theory is one of the essential ingredients in explaining communication matters/events.
Thus, understanding theory helps in a great number of ways to under communication, research, and many other human bahaviours because theory depends on research to provide proof of the theory’s correctness. Anaeto, Onabajo, and Osifeso (2008) when stating the importance of theory, opined that theory is what gives studies a required footing. Also, going by the position of Earl Barbie (1987) cited in Anaeto, et. al. (2008) stresses the three elements of social science research as theory, research, and statistics. These constructs are based on the fact that theory generates research and research generates and refines theory.
Although there are differing opinions as to what constitutes a theory, comparison and contrast of the diversity of opinions on what constitutes the virtues of a good theory is important. Daniel (2012) in Wacker (1998) stated, “Operationalization of the definition of theory should directly be tied to the necessary components of theory”.
According to him, a theory is composed of four components:
(b) a domain of applicability,
(c) a set of relationships of variables, and
(d) specific predictions or factual claims.
It is against the above assertion that some definitions of a theory are examined in order to understand what theory meant to each of the scholars.
SCHOLARS: McQuail, Kurt Lewin, Wilbur Schramm, Earl Babbie, Severin and Tankard, Daramola, Abrah and Kaplan, Rychlak, Sutherland, Bacharach and Kerlinger.
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