Psychological Theories

Published: 2019-09-13 16:31:51
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This part of this article is aimed at discussing the various psychological theories and their application in our day to day activities, and the problems and limitations that come with the application of these theories.

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A theory is an assertion of concepts showing interrelation between ideas providing explanations about the existence of various relationships of thoughts and their utility in our day to day actions (Corley and Gioia, 2011) .Theory may further be defined as the art or science of one having the mastery of a particular principle and further the methodology thereafter. This may be inferred to be the ability of an individual to have grasped a certain skill and have the knowhow how to apply it in his day to day life. Theory as per Confucius is the first step of one acquiring knowledge from the teachings, its practicability is essential for one to not only grasp the idea but for the knowledge that this individual has to be worthwhile to the society.

Theories over the years have been developed with the aim of tackling and explaining problems in our society.This means that for a theory to be developed, it must be one which is deemed to be workable in the society as a whole. For example, Archimedes came with the theory of eureka in order to tackle the problem of cheating on the side of the gold smiths and this proved to be workable. However, in psychology, theories are said to be used to describe behaviour and come up with the predictions on how one is likely to behave in the future in the same circumstances (Corley and Gioia, 2011).

Psychology has various grand theories that try to explain the development of as whole instead of trying to explain an aspect of development. These grand theories are; the learning theory, social learning theory, constructivism and social constructivism (Van, 1989). When one infers the words of Kurt Lewin (1945), one may understand that a theory that has been well moulded can be used to tackle all the problems that it was curved to tackle.

Although theorists will develop and put down a strategy that they deem workable and best for that particular situations, or that will reciprocate to better the society, and that will enlighten us as desired, it comes with its set of challenges and limitations at its application stage.

These theories at times are met with a major limitation since theres a barrier to the proper determination of what really is determined to be a theory (Gelso, 2006). This means that since a theory doesnt have a particular format or composition, a difficulty may arise as one tries to understand the one by studying their behaviour; their behaviour may at times be affected by outside forces other than the individuals personal decisions. This is since one may be unable to differentiate that theory, from opinions which are un- testable or even at times principles of ones faith (Sharma, 2013). Due to this impossibility of differentiation, at times the practitioners may go ahead to try to make an action practicable while it was drawn with no testable considerations.

With the intention of trying to combat this this barrier, the philosophers have been able to come up with the properties that will enable the society to actively know what a theory is, i.e. the properties of a theory. These are; the predictions, the relationship between the variables, the definitions of these variables and how the theory will be applied (Wacker, 1998).

Since these theories are interdependent with the environment, then one may have a hard time getting adequate findings from viewing an individual in his or her normal day to day activities (Shapiro and Courtney,2007). Further, at times the factors that may affect the way one behaves may not be the actions physical environment but at times it may even be his personal emotions or even in some situations the emotions of another individual. This causes a difficulty in the process of one understanding the factors that affect this individual since the finding may be one which is contrary to the prediction, due to the researcher going ahead to carry out the research with false variables. Further if one uses these wrong predictions in the coming situations he or she may end up having wrong predetermination and if they act as they predicted, their actions may end up being contrary to the true response of the other party.

In addition to this, theories may at times be met with criticism from the society hence causing a challenge since they may not be highly regarded as solutions to the day to day activities of the society. In some instances, the theorists develop theories with the notion of it being the best move or direction to be taken without them having regarded the norms of that the society before the development of this particular theory (Miller &Bahnson, 2010).

However, in instances that theories are applied effectively this comes with its own advantages. With just the fact that one has the right predetermination of ones behaviour, he or she can have the ability to plan on the right time and place to have things working in their favour. Further, theories specifically the understanding of the social learning theory, may help the elders in a society to mould the young ones in a way that they may desire (Weatherbee and Mills, 2008). This is since, if the elders understand that their actions are integral determinants of how the young ones around them turn up, they will try their bests to act in a manner that will bear desirable fruits. This may be inferred from the Bobo Doll Experiment, where the researchers realised that the social learning theory was effectively proved since the children took up the behaviour of the environment they were subjected to (Bandura, 1977).

For a theory to be applicable, then the theorist should be able to come up with steps that he thinks will make it possible to be applied effectively. The theory should be able to answer the questions, who, what, why, where, when and how. This means that the theorist must first take into account the society he or she is studying, understand it and this understanding will reciprocate in one evaluating the decisions on a basis of what they know will be workable in that given society. This is since, difference in composition of a society will determine whether this theory will be applicable or not. Kurt Lewin(1945) even further decided that behaviour and the environment are interdependent and hence understanding the society is a vital part in the applicability of that particular theory.

As earlier stated, theories are at times brought in place with the aim of tackling an already existent problem, then one has to clearly identify this before he or she goes ahead to stipulate the theory to combat it. This same approach was taken by Lewin in a move contrary to the other scholars; Wertheimer, KoffkaandKohler. This is since he determined that the actions of a society are always determined by the goal and this will always change from society to society (Van,1989).

Further, this theory must not only be a normal theory parse but it must be a good theory. For it to be workable, this theory must entail the variables, the relationship between the given variables, how this theory will be applied and lastly the presumed outcome of this theory works. (Wacker,1998). These particulars will not only differentiate this theory from the other assertions but it will further enable the practitioner to know what outcome he or she expects at the end of that particular activity.

With all these stated we now delve into practical activities pertaining to the various psychological theories and consider one which easily and openly manifests itself and one which is difficult to translate into practice.

With the knowledge about the Psychological theories, when one views the society regarding him looking at the way the society as a whole behaves, then the various grand theories will be visible in different intensities.

In my view, the Social Learning Theory is the most applicable in our society today. This is since ones actions are in most cases determined by the activities of the people that surround him. Ones behaviour changes from the way they talk down to the way they reason depending on the people that surround them (Kelly 1967). When one is surrounded by the people he or she feels comfortable around, then he or she will tend to converse more and even seem to be a different person if he or she is in a new environment.

However, in the application of theconstructivism theory tends to be difficult in application, since this is one attributed to the development of complex and sophisticated representations of their surroundings. This being a personal attribute, then its applicability will be one which only that particular individual has the ability of noticing since we it is impossible for one to effectively see the complex behaviour of this individual in the way he or she always carries himself out.

In conclusion, the above have undoubtedly helped in explaining the various psychological theories and their applicability in our society as a whole.

PART TWO: The Grand Theory

This part of this essay is aimed at giving a worthwhile analysis of the Grand Theory (Social Learning Theory) with an in-depth analysis of the various studies that have been carried out pertaining to it.

Norms are the said unwritten stipulations of how one is supposed to carry out his or her day to day activities. These norms will always dictate what an individual will be able to do or not to do. They include the values, traditions and customs of that particular society. The study of how these norms affect an individuals actions can be said to be major pillars when it comes to the Social Learning Theory. Social Learning Theory is defined as the ability of an individual gaining knowledge of a society by him or her observing and imitating their norms. Albert Bandura (1977) went as step further and came up with the various ways that may be determinants to how one behaves; Stimuli and Environment

Relationship Test (2013)

The study conducted by OConner, et al., (2013) examined parenting programs for children that are based on social learning theory and development of attachment-based caregiving. They researchers were of the theory that care giving would eventually lead to a change in their attitudes towards their children. (O'connor, Matias, Futh, Tantam, & Scott, 2013).

Parents who participated in the intervention showed significant positive improvement with behavioral changes and improvements in sensitive responding towards their child. There is a noted change in attachment. Additionally, the study revealed that parents improve their parenting skills which allowed for the reduction of negative behaviors from children. However, there was no noted change in attachment for the children who are receiving intervention. The results show that the use of social learning theory can make changes parent-child relationship (O'connor et al., 2013).

This psychological theory is applicable in the society as at now since it is the fact at the moment. This can be seen by the fact that parents tend to always try to care for their kids and this for sure was proved and the positive change in their behaviours.

Revenge Test (2016)

Over the years, the society has had the notion that the action of an individual going ahead to retaliate always makes him or her feel happy. However, this research showed that revenge at times will not give one the satisfaction that he or she may think he will achieve, but this will differ from person to person (Luttrell, Richard, Pablo and Wagner, 2016)

This study was one that was carried out with the aim of proving the theory that the actions of an individual may be determined by the individuals surrounding him or her. The fact that one doesnt want to see...

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