This literature often provides meanings that are pertinent to the practice of nursing. For example, fatigue is a concept that is of interest to nurses but also to physicians and clinical pharmacists. The popular current literature is also a source of valuable data about conceptual meaning. Attempting to prematurely create specific meanings for abstract concepts may interfere with exploring a wide range of possibilities that lead to the discovery of richer or alternative meanings. When a tentative identification of the relationships is made, ask the following questions: Are there concepts that stand alone and that are unrelated to others? For example, consider again the example of the word mouse and the two very different conceptual meanings that it carries. When empirically based predictions of human behavior are shown to be valid, they are usually based on explanation. Purpose can be approached initially by asking the following: âWhy was this theory formulated?â The responses to this question provide information that pertains to theoretic purposes. explicit. Prediction implies if-then statements about the occurrence of empiric phenomena. At the same time, a person’s own subjective meaning may be unique and more real to the individual than any other possible interpretation of the word. Is the definition specific about what a phenomenon is, or does it suggest what its use is? This model of nursing theory permits nurse practitioners to enhance patient care and recovery by applying real life experience, knowledge and cognitive reasoning that extends beyond the scientific methodology of empirical knowledge. Some are too empirically grounded, and others are too expansive to yield a useful outcome. Nursing theories give a plan for reflection in which to examine a certain direction in where the plan needs to head. The structure is created with the use of a method that draws on the creativity of the theorist. For example, Levine (1967) coined the word trophicogenic to mean “nurse-induced illness.” Rogers (1970) discussed three principles of homeodynamics. Decision Making 6. Testability Testability refers to the theoryâs research potential or empirical adequacy. 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. Log In or. When you deal with highly abstract concepts, the task of constructing and selecting exemplar cases is even more difficult, and often these concepts can only be measured indirectly. Ask the following questions: âWhat is the end point of this theory?â and âWhen is this theory no longer useful?â Responses to these questions provide clues about purpose, and they help to clarify the context in which the theory can be used. 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. Despite nurses as frontline caregivers for dying patients and their families many nurses have identified that they struggle with the responding adequately to the emotional devastation to parents and siblings when caring for a neonate with an unresolved terminal condition (Frommet, 1991). The same word may be used to represent more than one phenomenon. Sometimes individual concepts within theories may be structured in these forms. Characteristics of clients such as hardiness may also be selected, particularly if they are important determinants of health. For example, if I am in a room with a comfortable ambient air temperature and announce that I am cold (i.e., mildly hypothermic) when everyone else in the room is comfortable, my own perception and experience of being cold is the most real to me, although I recognize that I am the only one who feels cold. The exemplar case is chosen deliberately to include all of the types of coins available so that, when examining the case, several characteristics of all possibilities emerge. 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. Conceptual meaning is created by considering all three sources of experiences related to the concept: the word, the thing itself, and the associated feelings (see Figure 7-2). 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. Paradoxically, these cases embody elements of both exemplar and contrary cases. Ideas about these characteristics may be derived from a theory or from concept clarification. At the same time, the human meaning of the concept mother is formed from shared cultural and societal heritages. Definitions vary with regard to precision and completeness, but conceptual meaning should be identifiable in a theory. The conceptual meanings that you would bring with you when you go into a pet store with the intention of purchasing a mouse and that you would bring with you when you go into a computer store to purchase a mouse are shaped by the purpose of your shopping trip and the type of store that you enter to achieve this purpose. PERSONAL SYSTEM 1. For example, consider the concept of judgment if you are a student taking an examination, a real estate agent assessing a home for sale, an official scoring a gymnastics meet, or a magistrate preparing to impose a sentence. In this text, we use a definition that is consistent with the more everyday meanings of theory as a collection of ideas or explanatory hunches. Exemplar cases may be created from your own experience, or you may find cases in the literature that have been constructed or described by others. • When the object contains liquid, it can safely hold hot liquids. Concepts that are interrelated often explain how empiric events occur and may provide some detail about how and why concepts interrelate. The language that emerges to refer to new technology is also a rich source of borderline cases. The statement âIndividuals are composed of three dimensionsâ is mainly descriptive. Other forms of narrative, diagrams, and symbols can express meanings that move beyond the limits of empirics alone. Because your decision is tentative, you can change your construction for another purpose or circumstance. The term invented implies a creative process, although this may not necessarily involve the type of testing and confirmation that McKay suggests. The object is capable of containing physical matter. Our definition is as follows: Theory: A creative and rigorous structuring of ideas that projects a tentative, purposeful, and systematic view of phenomena. A single phenomenon can also be represented by several different words. Other forms of narrative, diagrams, and symbols can express meanings that move beyond the limits of empirics alone. We recommend beginning the process of criteria formulation early so that useful information is not lost. As concepts are identified, ideas about relationships between them begin to form. Do the concepts represent abstractions of objects, properties, or events? After the definitions are identified, ask the following questions: Are similar definitions used for different concepts? These purposes can contribute to the achievement of practice purposes, or they may not be directly relevant to practice goals. Usually this does not add new information of significance for creating conceptual meaning. Later, you might portray a male in the same case. For example, the concept of intuition commonly appears in nursing literature with many different but related meanings. The meanings that are conveyed reflect different assumptions about the phenomenon. Ask what happens to your meaning if you perceive mothering as a process that structures and directs the nature of relationships in a system. From a traditional standpoint, empiric implies an objective, nontheoretic observation, which implies that meaning exists in what is observed apart from the interpretations of the observer. Are there several major concepts with subconcepts organized under them? Are some concepts defined differently than common convention would define them? This chapter focuses on theory as a form of empiric knowledge to be described and critically reflected upon. Interaction 2. 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. Assess how general or specific the definitions are. Visual images that represent concepts very well also highlight difficulties with expressing meaning linguistically. The structure of a theory gives overall form to the conceptual relationships within it. As you become aware of these meanings, you can explore the extent to which the meanings are consistent with your own purpose. For concrete objects, the criteria may be relatively simple. Sometimes exemplar cases are presented after clarification is complete. Because the experience is not adequately expressed in common language, words may seem quite inadequate at first. Often purposes that are extensions of theory are linked to the concepts and structures of the theory by implicit assumptions. Relatively empiric concepts are ideas that are formed from the direct observation of objects, properties, or events. A nursing theory is a set of concepts, definitions, relationships, and assumptions or propositions derived from nursing models or from other disciplines and project a purposive, systematic view of phenomena by designing specific inter-relationships among concepts for the purposes of describing, explaining, predicting, and /or prescribing. You may be buffeted by the forces within the cloud that moves on, still visible and dynamic and still three dimensional and you think “I can see the cloud, I can feel the forces it contains, but how do I study it when it refuses to lend itself to anything more than a fleeting encounter?”. It also requires that the hypotheses are tested and confirmed with the use of methods of scientific-empiric research to generate theory. To provide a sense of direction, you must know why you are creating conceptual meaning. Existing definitions often help to identify core elements of objects, perceptions, or feelings that can be represented by a word. As the words acquire contextual and value meanings, they shift further toward the abstract. Again, you consider differences and similarities between the exemplar and the related cases and revise the tentative criteria to reflect your new insights. On other occasions, visual imagery may raise questions about the essential nature of the phenomena that are important to the refinement of criteria. For concrete concepts such as cup, an exemplar case is relatively easy. The definitions of related terms may not be universally accepted, but we believe that they are reasonable and that they reflect common meanings. For example, when exploring the meaning of dignity, you might create a case in which actions that violate dignity occur to preserve a central feature of dignity. Freud’s concept of ego is an example. What proportion is empirically grounded? Can definitions fit other terms within or outside of the structure of the theory? At first, this device was thought to be optional and mainly useful for the playing of games. 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. Purposes within a theory may be found for different individuals or groups of individuals who might use or benefit from the use of the theory. When you explore the various meanings acquired by virtue of the context, you probably will become aware of meanings that you previously had not considered. The theoretic purpose may be represented by the linear relationships of several concepts that converge on one specific concept that, in turn, is not linked to any other concepts; in other words, the linkages end with a specific concept. From our perspective, empiric theory is a creative and rigorous structuring of ideas. If you are choosing existing images, they may be explicitly labeled or named as the concept of interest, or you may judge them to reasonably represent it. Beliefs about the nature of empiric theory arise in part from the various fields of inquiry from which nursing knowledge is developed. Many such measurements depend on scales that rely on self-report. The purpose for the person receiving care might be to recover and to provide responses that indicate how effective the system is for promoting recovery. The term empiric has a number of different meanings. When there are multiple purposes within a theory, the scope of those purposes may vary. The term also refers to the results or products generated when the systematic methods of empirics are used. This chapter deals with conceptualizing and structuring phenomena that are relevant to nursing as an approach to developing disciplinary knowledge. Given our definition, it is possible to contrast how empiric theory differs from related terms such as science, philosophy, paradigm, theoretic framework, and model. Personal Space 7. Some theories may reflect one or more of these structures, whereas others will not. 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. For a concept such as mothering, your exemplar case might describe the following event: an infant cries, and an adult picks up the infant. The following sections provide guidelines that you can select and adapt as needed. These features could include the central importance of the mother in some cultures for defining the scope of relationships or structuring the energy of all relationships within the system. Five fundamental patterns of knowing in nursing are empirical, ethic, personal knowledge, aesthetics, and social political. Are some concepts singular entities and others organized with subconcepts? 3. Read the subheadings within the article, book, or report and look for a description of the research methodology. The metaphoric meanings for the concept of red are excellent examples. 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. Nursing theory aims to describe, predict and explain the phenomenon of nursing (Chinn and Jacobs1978). Sentences that translate into if-then statements are predictive. Time 6. For example, if a theory is developed to address the clinical goal of alleviating pain, the theory can be examined for purposes that are appropriate for the individual nurse, the physician, the person receiving care, and that personâs family. You will probably invent other varieties of cases during the process of creating conceptual meaning. paint a picture or tell a story so that people can confirm that this is indeed mothering. As this and other exemplar cases are created, you can compare various meanings in the experience and define what is common and what is different about the various cases that you consider. Organization 2. These ideas imply change toward a certain goal rather than just change for the sake of change. Because many other combinations are possible, criteria are created from the exemplar case to cover all other possible combinations. Existing definitions are often circular and do not give a complete sense of meaning for the concept, but they do help to clarify common usages and ideas associated with the concept. You will see our values and beliefs reflected in our explanation of how we came to the definition that is used in this text. In Hallâs (1966) theoretic framework, for example, the theory would cease to be valuable when the client has engaged in self-actualization, and self-actualization may be deemed the overall purpose.