Self-esteem is an example of a highly abstract concept for which there is no direct measure. This definition emphasizes the importance of the theory having a purpose. Sometimes you can locate a contrary case in the literature. When you begin to study an abstract concept, it is natural to wonder why it is difficult to grasp the meaning of the term and to understand all that is conveyed by the concept. Is the definition specific about what a phenomenon is, or does it suggest what its use is? Despite your best efforts to make the perfect initial choice, that choice will probably change as you explore various meanings. From our perspective, empiric theory is a creative and rigorous structuring of ideas. Eventually you will need a clear conceptualization of dependence as well as ideas about how to measure or assess it. When you are creating conceptual meaning for a theory, you are giving meaning to the word symbols within the theory. The ways in which the relationships emerge provide clues regarding the theoretic purposes and the assumptions on which the theory is based. These questions stimulate the development of empiric theory and serve as an organizing framework for deliberately examining it. We recommend beginning the process of criteria formulation early so that useful information is not lost. Consider a theory that is developed with a clinical purpose of promoting a high level of wellness. When empirically based predictions of human behavior are shown to be valid, they are usually based on explanation. The meanings of concepts can be explored from within the context of the professional literature. The following sections provide guidelines that you can select and adapt as needed. Another purpose might be to differentiate between two closely related concepts, such as sympathy and empathy. Five fundamental patterns of knowing in nursing are empirical, ethic, personal knowledge, aesthetics, and social political. The ideas are expressed by word symbols that form a conceptual structure. Your exemplar case develops until there is enough substance that people respond to the case by forming a mental image of mothering. Confirmation and validation of empiric knowledge using research, Confirmation and validation of empiric knowledge in practice, Empiric knowledge development: conceptualizing and structuring, Nursing’s fundamental patterns of knowing, Integrated Theory Knowledge Development in Nursing. At first, this device was thought to be optional and mainly useful for the playing of games. Some elements will seem clear, some will depend on tentative interpretations, and some will remain unclear. As the critical questions “What is this?” and “How does it work?” are asked, the creative processes of conceptualizing and structuring are initiated. This highlights the feature of cups as being capable of holding something. What is empiric theory? some criteria for dignity but highlights the importance of a central criterion for discerning the concept. Is there evidence that some relationships are predictive? An ordinary teacup, for example, can be presented for others to see and hold. Do not get stuck trying to distinguish between major and minor. 2 Empirical Nursing: The Art of Evidence-based Care scientists communicating directly with the public about their work in media without the intervening assistance of editors (Brockman, 1995). In these theories, the concepts of the theory include nursing actions and behaviors that contribute to the purpose. The nurse’s purpose might be to design a system that promotes recovery. Your case might be the emergency cardiopulmonary resuscitation of a person in a public space to preserve the life of that person. Taken together, these two purposes might be viewed as an overall purpose of creating an interactive recovery process. This would include knowledge that is developed with the use of controlled experimental studies as well as a variety of naturalistic methods that rely on interacting with and understanding the nature of experience as it is perceived. For the concept of red, you might consider a red-orange hue or magenta. • The height normally is between 3 and 7 inches, and the widest diameter is 3 to 4 inches. Nurses who work with the concept daily may be able to shed light on nuances of meaning that will markedly affect how meaning is integrated into your theory. A definition is an explicit meaning that is conveyed for a concept. They may be similar in some respects, but they represent something that most observers would easily recognize as significantly different from the concept you are considering. If comfort as the theorist describes it is not even possible for persons in the midst of chemotherapy, then the theory may not be useful to you at all. To say that words are symbols means that words stand for or represent some experience or phenomena. For example, if you are defining the word self-esteem for a research study, your definition might include the foundational meanings that are consistent with the tool that you are using to measure self-esteem. In our view, theoretic statements are tentative and open to revision as new evidence and insights emerge. The structuring processes involve placing concepts into a structure and then placing that structure into a larger context. Thus, when choosing concepts, the role and context of nursing is important to the choice. For example, the Shaker folk tune “Simple Gifts” suggests criteria for concepts of authenticity, genuineness, centeredness, and community. Definitions of related terms help to make clearer the meaning of the central term (in this case, theory). Implicitly? Both? However, when one looks back at human behavior as described in a single research report, often what was found is no longer evident or has changed. After the definitions are identified, ask the following questions: Are similar definitions used for different concepts? How the cases are classified is not critical. • A conceptual system or framework that is invented to serve some purpose (Dickoff & James, 1968). This chapter focuses on theory as a form of empiric knowledge to be described and critically reflected upon. Philosophy relies on logic and reasoning rather than empiric evidence to create knowledge. Some purposes are specific to the clinical practice of nursing. You can physically present to the group something that you perceive as being red in color and find out whether the group agrees that this is what its members would also perceive as being red. The metallic content of the coins might serve as an adequate criterion and may even be the most precise of all possible criteria. Clinical practice is not necessary to explain blood flow velocity, but a theory with this purpose might be linked to a theoretic explanation of how blood flow velocity influences the incidence of decubiti or the extent of peripheral neuropathy in people with diabetes. Describing a theory is a process of posing questions about the components of the theory suggested by the previous definition and then responding to the questions with your own reading or interpretation of the theory. As linkages between concepts are identified, you can address the nature and character of the relationships. A concept such as mother, which can carry specific or highly complex meanings, changes in its level of abstraction, depending on the context of usage. The height normally is between 3 and 7 inches, and the widest diameter is 3 to 4 inches. The metaphoric meanings for the concept of red are excellent examples. A paradigm implies standards or criteria for assigning value or worth to both the processes and the products of a discipline as well as for the methods of knowledge development within a discipline. The most abstract concepts are mental constructions that encompass a complex network of subconcepts. It is much more difficult to understand or know how a child whose parent has been diagnosed with a debilitating disease will experience hope and despair. They are empiric because they are formed from perceptual encounters with the world as it is experienced, but they are abstract because they are mental images of that experience. The use of any of these words to describe an automobile conveys the perspective or values of the person who is using the word as well as the features of the object itself. Peers, coworkers, hospitalized individuals, other professional workers, and people who are not connected to nursing can provide valuable information about the meaning of a concept. Transaction 6. Many significant concepts for nursing have not been adequately named. You may select a common word for a concept and eventually assign a specific definition to the word to suit your particular purposes, or you may borrow a word from another language, combine two or more common words to specify a particular meaning, or make up a phrase or a word. Empirical research articles are examples of primary research. Many such measurements depend on scales that rely on self-report. Concepts may be defined in a list of definitions, or they may be defined in narrative form in the text but not labeled as definitions. Consider, for example, the concept of. Are the concepts fairly discrete in meaning, or do several have similar meanings? There are various methods for creating conceptual meaning, each of which has advantages and drawbacks (Beckwith, Dickinson, & Kendall, 2008). Your definitions cannot be arbitrary or simply based on your personal beliefs. Concepts formed around objects such as a cup or properties such as temperature are examples of highly empiric concepts, because the object or property that represents the idea (i.e., the empiric indicator) can be directly experienced through the senses and confirmed by many different people. That which generally is held to be an empirically verifiable object, property, or event, which means that the phenomenon is experienced and named consistently and similarly by others in a given similar context. If the case is depicted as an object or in some form of media, many rich aspects of the phenomenon can be conveyed by displaying the media for others to experience. Here we use exemplar cases as a way to create meaning rather than to represent it. It is important to clarify whether purposes are embedded in the theoretic structure or if they are reasonable extensions of the theory. Nursing seeks to conceptualize and structure phenomena that are extremely elusive as well as phenomena that are more easily understood. For example, fatigue is a concept that is of interest to nurses but also to physicians and clinical pharmacists. By “experience,” we mean perceptions of the world, including objects, other people, visual images, color, movement, sounds, behavior, and interactions; in other words, we refer to the totality of what is perceived. Later, you might portray a male in the same case. In the early part of nursing's history, there was little formal nursing knowledge. In the discipline of nursing, theory is generally considered the most formal and the most highly structured of the empiric knowledge forms, and it is this type of theory that we focus on in this chapter. Only gold members can continue reading. It is through the processes of description and critical reflection that disciplinary theory is both evaluated and refined. In the example that was just cited, research or logical reasoning would be indicated that links healthy infant development with quality-of-life indicators. Theoretic definitions and ways that concepts are used in the context of the theory convey meanings that pertain to the domain of the discipline from which the theory comes. A different word is generally used to label the related instances. Many theories do not contain a single discernible structure in which all concepts will fit into a coherent, unified network. Without careful examination, care decisions guided by the theory will be less than effective, and research outcomes that are grounded in or that extend the theory will likely be flawed. The descriptive components that this definition suggests include the following: • Purpose: If a theory is purposeful, then a purpose can be found. Placing the concept in a subtly differing context also reveals values. As you describe a theory, do not expect that it will fit into one of these four structures. A spoon may hold liquids that people sip, but it is not a cup; a saucer that a cup sits on is also clearly not a cup. As with the other patterns, these questions are asked in the moment of practice as empiric knowledge is integrated with the other patterns of knowing. A study was planned to contribute to theory-testing in nursing by testing an aspect of Watson's (1988) theory of human care. When you consider your exemplar case being placed in several different social contexts, you create an avenue for perceiving important values and making deliberate choices about them. General meanings are preferred in broad-scope theories or theories that are not likely to be empirically tested. For the concept of restlessness, calmness could be presented as a contrary case. If you are a student in a nursing class, your concept selection may be guided by expediency as well as interest. Scientific methods lead to THE answer (which is equated to THE truth) For example, for someone who is interested in a cup to be used for the purpose of drinking liquids, a golfing green cup, although a plausible instance of the concept of cup, does not have the defining features required for drinking liquids. Some concepts may be linked to the theory by assumptions, which may explain why the concept seems to fit within the matrix of the theory but why a theoretic relationship that contains the concept is not explicitly stated. The structure is created with the use of a method that draws on the creativity of the theorist. DEVELOPMENT OF NURSING THEORY The science of nursing was derived mainly from the social sciences, biology and medicine from the 60, XX century an increasing number of professionals are dedicated to develop nursing models that provide the basis for developing theories and advance knowledge of the profession. Although an indirect assessment or observation is different from direct measurement, it is considered a reasonable indicator of the concept. This purpose of self-actualization within the structure of Hall’s theoretic framework represents the end point of theoretic reasoning. Suppose the theorist stated that the purpose of the theory was the quality of life of the family unit, but the theorist did not explain how the concepts within the theory interrelate to create a certain quality of life. However, there are many varieties of empiric knowledge to which these processes can also apply. What is considered mothering reflects deeply embedded cultural values. Criteria are succinct statements that describe essential characteristics and features that distinguish the concept as a recognizable entity and that differentiate this entity from other related ideas. In both theories, there is an identifiable relationship between the individual and the environment, but the structure of the relationship differs. that cannot be directly observed but that can be indirectly measured with the aid of laboratory instruments. Control INTERNAL ENVIRONMENT EXTERNAL ENVIRO… For the concept of mothering, a borderline case might be a computer motherboard, because this term and its related concept are not part of the typical computer user’s conceptual realm and remain primarily technical. Selecting a concept is a process that involves a great deal of ambiguity. However, a more precise and consistent identification of red would result from measurement with the use of a spectrophotometer. Values that influence your selection of a concept include your beliefs and attitudes about the nature of nursing. Nursing theory is a framework designed to organize knowledge and explain phenomena in nursing. You might make a childcare worker the adult or substitute an elderly person for the infant. Existing definitions often help to identify core elements of objects, perceptions, or feelings that can be represented by a word. For example, the term mother as defined in the dictionary refers to the social and biologic role of parenting and includes a few characteristics of the role, such as authority and affection. Ideas that the creator systematically develops on the basis of experience and observation can be considered as theory before formal testing occurs. Outside of the context of Hall’s theory, self-actualization is a purpose that is shared with other professions. to revision as new evidence and insights emerge. Power 4. Characteristics of nurses, care systems, or nurse-client-family interaction may also be chosen if they are related to nursing’s purpose of creating health and well-being. Ask the following questions: “What is the end point of this theory?” and “When is this theory no longer useful?” Responses to these questions provide clues about purpose, and they help to clarify the context in which the theory can be used. Suggest any particular method for developing theory diagnoses, and your meanings will alter as contexts use. Everyone else is dressed in dark suits diameter is 3 to 4 inches elements. Certain direction in where the plan needs to head indirect means not exist as approach... Purpose of a concept term is used to label the related instances word symbol “ hypothermia ” are among... Nuances that relate to the discipline of nursing, similar meanings for the processes of,. An abstract concept for which theory is important to clarify whether purposes are embedded in the tool is then to... 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