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Health Communication Research Measures

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Edited By Do Kyun Kim and James W. Dearing

This volume presents state-of-the-art reporting on how to measure many of the key variables in health communication. While the focus is on quantitative measures, the editors argue that these measures are centrally important to the study of health communication. The chapters emphasize constructs, scales, and up-to-date reports and evidence about key social science constructs and ways of measuring them, whether your interest is in patient-provider dyadic communication, uncertainty management, self-efficacy, disclosure, social norms, social support, risk perception, health care team performance, message design and effects, health and numerical literacy, communication satisfaction, social influence and persuasion, stigma, health campaigns, reactance, or other topics. Students, researchers, and policymakers will find this book an accessible resource for planning and reviewing research studies and proposals.
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Introduction

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Social science theorists have long envisioned how social scientists could organize so that the knowledge borne from our work might contribute to the improvement of both science and society (Campbell, 1971; Cronbach, 1982). Such aspiration requires that researchers understand what their forefathers did before them and with what results so that we may incrementally improve (Merton, 1965). In the health promotion field, progress in this direction has occurred, for example, through the production of consensus statements about standards of evidence (Flay et al., 2005).

Alas, the challenge of learning incrementally and cumulatively from others’ work is daunting. Not only are we limited in terms of how much each of us can know (Simon, 1955), but the expansion of scientific knowledge continues unabated. We publish our results in more journals than ever before and increasingly cite others’ work that appears in new and far flung journals (Acharya et al., 2014). If modern society can be thought of as an information processor, then it is at present an increasingly decentralized one.

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