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Theoretical Statements Relating Three Variables
Theoretical statements relating three variables

A frequent occurrence in communication research is to begin a line of inquiry with a hypothesis of broad, across-the-board effects, only to find in subsequent research that the effect is not general but occurs only under certain conditions. What started out as a clean, neat two-variable hypothesis needs to be qualified. The hypothesis is no longer parsimonious; it needs to have qualifying phrases tacked on. And it is no longer as general, and therefore not as potent; it holds up only in certain situations. Meadow (1985) appeared to have been referring to this occurrence when he wrote, “After four decades of exploration, we are left with one answer to the question of media effects—‘it depends’” (p. ...

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