Books -- Communication Research Measures: A Sourcebook Edited by Rebecca B. Rubin, Philip Palmgreen and Howard E. Sypher

Article excerpt

*Rubin, Rebecca, B.; Philip Palmgreen; and Howard E. Sypher, eds. (1994). Communication Research Measures: A Sourcebook. New York: The Guilford Press. 400 pp. Hardback, $35.

For graduate students and faculty interested in survey research and scale development, Communication Research Measures will prove useful as a reference text. Like most sourcebooks, it assumes the reader is proficient at evaluating and improving the scales its contains, and thus the text will be most appropriate for scholars with some background in psychometrics theory.

The book is divided into two parts, the first of which contains four chapters out; lining the facets of communication study that employ quantitative measures: instructional, interpersonal, mass, and organizational. In the first chapter, Patricia Kearney and Michael T. Beatty summarize the problems associated with cognitive learning and present tables of measures based on major instructional themes, such as learning outcomes, teacher and student behavior, and communication skills assessment.

Measures demonstrated to be reliable and valid in prior studies are evaluated in the text's second part, Measure Profiles. With respect to instructional communication, some of the scales reviewed involve affective learning, communicator style, student motivation, and teacher credibility.

In the second chapter, Rebecca B. Rubin and Elizabeth E. Graham review measures of interpersonal communication, and they classify scales as measuring personal qualities or social relationships. The authors discuss the need to report more than coefficient alpha, and they encourage researchers to provide test-retest and split-half reliability information in future studies. …