Quantitative Communication Research: Review, Trends, and Critique

Timothy R. Levine


Trends in quantitative communication research are reviewed. A content analysis of 48 articles reportingoriginal communication research published in 1988-1991 and 2008-2011 is reported. Survey researchand self-report measurement remain common approaches to research. Null hypothesis significancetesting remains the dominant approach to statistical analysis. Reporting the shapes of distributions,estimates of statistical power, and confidence intervals remain uncommon. Trends over time includethe increased popularity of health communication and computer mediated communication as topicsof research, and increased attention to mediator and moderator variables. The implications of thesepractices for scientific progress are critically discussed, and suggestions for the future are provided.

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