Theories are made up of ideas attempting to structure thinking around a specific happening. Your readings for this week introduce the ideas of phenomena, concepts, propositions, and assumptions. This assignment is designed to help you think about those four aspects and explain the connections between each to help strengthen your understanding of the foundations and working parts of theory.
Define the following four terms in your own words, citing at least one source: phenomena, concept, preposition, and assumptions.
Review your definitions and think of an example from your day-to-day life or your practice experience that includes each of the four ideas.
For example, falls in clinical practice is a phenomenon you encounter. The idea that dementia patients are at greater risk for falls is a related concept. The related proposition is that dementia is related to falling in some way. An underlying assumption is that patients with dementia don’t intend to fall.
Explain how all four aspects of your example work together to form the basis for a testable theory.
Cite a minimum of two sources in-text and in an APA-formatted reference page. Needs to be 1100 words.
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The study of theories is crucial in the field of medicine as it helps to structure thinking around specific happenings. In this assignment, we will discuss four important aspects of theory including phenomena, concepts, propositions, and assumptions. The aim is to define these terms and provide an example from daily life or practice experience. Furthermore, we will explain how all four aspects work together to form a testable theory.
Phenomena can be defined as events or occurrences that are observable and can be studied. It is a fact or situation that is experienced through the senses and is measurable. In medicine, phenomena can be anything from symptoms to the presence of a disease. According to Polit and Beck (2017), phenomena are important as they form the basis for theory development.
An example of a phenomenon in daily life is the occurrence of headaches. Headaches are a common phenomenon experienced by people, and they can have many causes such as stress, dehydration, or even a tumor. In practice, a phenomenon could be the presence of a particular symptom in a patient. For example, a patient presenting with chest pain can be seen as a phenomenon.
Concepts can be defined as ideas or mental constructs that are used to represent phenomena. They are used to classify or categorize phenomena into specific groups or areas. Concepts are important in theory development as they provide a way to describe the phenomena and organize them into meaningful categories (Polit & Beck, 2017).
An example of a concept in daily life is the idea of stress. Stress is a concept used to describe a range of phenomena, including physical, emotional, and mental reactions. In practice, a concept could be the use of a particular medication class for treating a particular condition.
Propositions can be defined as statements that describe the relationship between two or more concepts. They are used to explain how concepts are related to each other and how they contribute to the occurrence of phenomena. Propositions are important in theory development as they provide a way to test the relationship between concepts and phenomena (Polit & Beck, 2017).
An example of a proposition in daily life is that exercise is beneficial for weight loss. This proposition describes the relationship between the concept of exercise and the phenomenon of weight loss. In practice, a proposition could be that a particular intervention will lead to an improvement in patient outcomes.
Assumptions can be defined as beliefs or ideas that are taken for granted and are not usually questioned. They are assumptions that are believed to be true and are used to guide research or practice. Assumptions are important in theory development as they provide a framework for understanding phenomena and concepts (Polit & Beck, 2017).
An example of an assumption in daily life is that the use of a seat belt will prevent injury in a car accident. This assumption is generally accepted as true and is used to guide behavior. In practice, an assumption could be that a particular treatment will be effective in improving patient outcomes.
How all four aspects work together to form the basis for a testable theory:
All four aspects of theory – phenomena, concepts, propositions, and assumptions – work together to form the basis for a testable theory. Phenomena provide the foundation for the theory, and concepts are used to describe and classify the phenomena. Propositions describe the relationship between concepts and how they contribute to the occurrence of phenomena. Assumptions provide a framework for understanding the phenomena and concepts.
For example, let us consider the theory of smoking and lung cancer. The phenomenon in this case is the presence of lung cancer. Concepts used in this theory include smoking, genetics, and environmental factors. Propositions in this theory describe the relationship between smoking and the occurrence of lung cancer. An assumption in this theory could be that smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer.
In conclusion, understanding the foundations of theory in medicine is crucial for medical students. Phenomena, concepts, propositions, and assumptions are the building blocks of theory development and are essential for testing and validating theories. It is important to note that these four aspects are not mutually exclusive and can be used together to develop theories in medicine.
Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2017). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice. Wolters Kluwer.