Ecosystemic Psychology - Definitions Definition Epistemology Epistemology is “the study of the origin, nature and methods, as well as the limits, of knowledge; it is also how things can be known, thus a framework for describing and conceptualizing what is being observed and experienced and it also specifies the nature of the relationship between the researcher (knower) and what can be known” (Terre Blanche & Durrheim, 2006, p. 6; Terre Blanche, Durrheim & Painter, 2006, p. 559; Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2004, p. 507). Theory is “a general principle or a collection of interrelated general principles that is put forward as an explanation of a set of known facts and empirical findings” (Reber, 1985). Example If for example the researcher needs to rely on people’s subjective experiences of day to day living in an old age home, the researcher could adopt an interactional epistemological stance and make use of interviewing as a method of enquiry. This is reflective of the interpretive approach, “which aims to explain the subjective reasons and meanings that lie behind social action” (Terre Blanche & Durrheim, 2006, p. 7). Thus, epistemologically the observer needs to be empathetic and subjective in his/her approach.
The theory of psychosocial development by Erikson (1963) “holds that psychosexual growth and psychosocial growth take place together and that at each stage of life we face the task of establishing equilibrium between ourselves and our social world” (cited in Corey, 2009, p. 66). For example, very early in life the infant learns to trust or mistrust. If a baby has a careless parent, that does not meet the babies basic needs the baby can easily develop mistrust.
A model is “an ideal, a standard, an example set up as worthy of imitation or copying” (Reber, 1985).
Bandura’s social learning theory is well known in the discipline of psychology. Bandura did an experiment with a ‘Bobo Doll’ in which he used a live model of observational...
References: Corey, G. (2009). Theory and Practice of Counselling and Psychotherapy. California: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning. Goldenberg, I. & Goldenberg, H. (2004). Family Therapy: An Overview. United States of America: Thomson Learning, Inc. Reber, A.S. (1985). The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology. [Electronic Version], Retrieved from: http://0-www.credoreference.com.oasis.unisa.ac.za/vol/504. Terre Blanche, M., & Durrheim, K. (2006). Histories of the present: social science research in context. In Terre Blanche, M., Durrheim, K., & Painter, D. (Eds.). (2006). Research in Practice: Applied Methods for the Social Sciences (pp. 1-17). Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press. Terre Blanche, M., Durrheim, K., & Painter, D. (2006). Glossary. In Terre Blanche, M., Durrheim, K., & Painter, D. (Eds.). (2006). Research in Practice: Applied Methods for the Social Sciences (pp. 557-565). Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press.
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