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Organizational studies benefits from interaction with other areas of study. The articles and research questions in the paper reflect a curiosity of the connection among media, technology, and behavior. Each article and set of authors approaches this question from a different perspective and in conjunction with another school of thought to help problem solve and with which to cooperate. The paper selects and uses three heuristics as way to explore research questions and hypotheses further and better. The paper substantiates the validity of the proposed research question. The paper also describes the context within which the proposed research would fit.
Generating Research Questions & Hypotheses
Part 1 - DeLorme, D.E., Huh, J., Reid, L.N., & An, S. (2010) The state of public research on over-the-counter drug advertising. International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, 4(3), 208 -- 231.
DeLorme et al. propose several key research questions and hypotheses. One of their research questions that interests me is to question the historical survey of OTC drug advertising content in conjunction to with what researching the content would reveal about the relationship between the ads and consumer behavior. I am extremely interested in the affects of technology on people on an individual level, as well as on a societal or cultural level. In the 21st century, the average person has no choice but to interact with multiple forms of technology on a daily basis. The degree to which digital and information technology has infiltrated the human experience has not yet been experienced by modern humanity or perhaps ever. It is critical for modern citizens to interact with technology cooperatively so as to improve their lives in various ways. Just as cars affected socialization or just as airplanes affected recreational travel and international relations, digital technology, information technology, and media are affecting humanity a great deal. What are those affects? Are any of them harmful? Are any of them inspirational?
If we understand that technology affects behavior, can we design technology with specific behavioral goals in mind? Thus, I understand the urge of the authors to understand what a historical survey of the ad content would reveal in general. The authors persist further and inquire as to what the relationship between the content and consumer behaviors are. They search for both the internal and external behaviors the ads influenced or directly created. On a larger scale, as researchers we can ask what does technology in general do to us both inside and out? Organizational studies demonstrates that the environmental and social landscapes can profoundly affect an organization on many levels at once. Technology and media are fundamental to today's environmental and social landscapes; they must be considered as factors that would affect an organization.
One hypothesis from the article that interests me is that there is a link among the lack of regulation regarding advertising content, consumer perceptions, and economics. I believe that the bottom line of all forms of advertising is revenue. Pharmaceuticals are a hugely profitable market in the United States of America and many other parts of the world. Some of the largest and most powerful companies in the world are pharmaceutical manufacturers & distributors, as well as media conglomerates. These companies often have similar interests and because of their vast power and wealth, often socialize in the same circles or conduct business with the same associates. The leaders of the pharmaceutical industry are the peers of the leaders of the media industry. Both industries wield substantial power of the global masses. It would not be out of the realm of possibility for deals among industry leaders to be made to service each other. The media moguls are very well aware of the regulations, or lack thereof, and the pharmaceuticals have seemingly endless supplies. Together, these industries generate a staggering amount of revenue annually. Media theorists have long contended that media has the power to influence perception and affect attitude. The research question I selected focuses upon the relationship between advertising and consumer behavior. One of the consumer behaviors affected by advertising is economic choice. Consumers will purchase the product whose ad they found most effective or saw most often, or thought was funny, regardless of the price. Therefore, I believe that the hypothesis of the authors in this case is on target.
Having reviewed the article by McGuire, "Creating Hypothesis Generating in Psychology -- Some Useful Heuristics," three heuristics have been chosen that would help me exercise my creative thinking regarding the research question and hypothesis aforementioned, as well as in any current or future research upon which I endeavor. The first heuristic is the use of metatheories as thought evokers. The second heuristic chosen is sustained deliberate observation. The third heuristic chosen is jolting one's conceptualizing out of its usual ruts. It is easy to be so close to the research that one loses one's sense of "the big picture." The use of metatheories inherently makes one consider the greater plan or larger scale of the issue. Sometimes when dealing with intricate research, researchers get swept away or lost in the details. This can stunt analysis as well as frustrate or stagnate researchers. Using metatheories can help avoid such a situation.
I have long been an advocated of sustained deliberate observation. Sustained deliberate observation provides great insight into the nature of the phenomenon, the circumstances, the variables, and the nature of the interaction among all factors. How can researchers ask questions of an occurrence when what they know of the event is superficial? This can be eradicated with sustained deliberate observation. Jolting one's conceptualizations out of old ruts keeps thinking fresh. Breaking out of and staying out of conceptual ruts lets the researcher be playful when approaching the research question and hypothesis. Play develops skills in invention, ingenuity, creativity, problem solving, conflict resolution, visualization and planning, and more. Therefore it is useful to break out of ruts during research. Researchers can approach challenges with a fresh set of eyes, though they are the same eyes they have always had when the jolt their conceptualizations out of stagnant patterns. That is one way researchers discover answers or at least make progress toward one.
Again, the research question I located in the DeLorme et al. article regards the historical survey of OTC drug advertising content in conjunction to with what research of the content reveals about the relationship between the ads and consumer behavior. Using the heuristic of sustained deliberate observation, a new research question could be "What content in OTC drug advertising stimulates productive or healthy consumer behaviors?" In order to answer this question, one would have to review the content of OTC drug ads, quite a substantial amount. The research would also include locating and categorizing the kinds of behavior caused or linked to OTC drug advertising directly or overwhelmingly. One would have to have a standard of what is considered "healthy" and "productive." Then the researcher would attempt to link specific ads to those outlined behaviors and perhaps predict and/or design ads that would help people. With use of the heuristic jolting conceptualizations out of ruts, another research question could be "How effective are ads at affecting consumer behavior in regards to OTC drug advertising?" This questions the notion that media affects behavior. Some theorists believe it does, but what if it does not? What if there is some other missing factor of influence on consumer behavior that researchers are missing because they are too busy studying ads? It is worth considering; there is not a lot of research in this area making a lot of room for researchers to venture into the unknown to stake claims.
Again, the hypothesis from the article I selected is that there is a link among the lack of regulation regarding advertising content, consumer perceptions, and economics. Using the heuristic of sustained deliberate observation, another hypothesis could be "The pharmaceuticals that have the higher production value and that air the most frequently generate the greatest revenues." There is little history on this topic, scarce literature written and little connections to other areas of thought happening regarding this topic. Thus there is novelty in the hypothesis because no other research is being done to prove it as known. Using the heuristic of using metatheories as thought evokers, another hypothesis could be "Using organizational studies and media theory, researcher could, with data visualization, reveal patterns between company revenue, corporate relationships, consumption, and behaviors." Data visualization is a fairly new technique of presentation and the collaboration of two perspectives on the same topic demonstrate the novelty in the hypothesis.
All of the heuristics are greatly useful, and though instructed to select one, the author cannot separate sustained deliberate observation from jolting conceptualizations out of ruts. To benefit fully from observations, one must be able to detach from them. Observations are valuable, but observing something indefinitely does not reveal the true or complete nature of the thing or event. This is why jolting out of conceptual ruts is so crucial to sustained deliberate observation.…[continue]
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