Explanation: Theoretical Approaches and Applications

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Literary Theory

Kant and Hegel already introduced this process in the 18th century, but its utility was largely disregarded. Psychoses and neuroses and psychopathy could be explained as ways to avoid integration, and attempts to pursue conscious and unconscious choices. Is the art of integration the most important condition for politics after democracy?

We discovered at an early stage that the method of integration is an excellent tool to enhance the quality of theories and therapies. We are confronted with the fact that the traditional scientific method, so successful in natural sciences, is practically of no use in psychological, social, political and philosophical domains.

Even the results of comparison between different approaches is poor, and correlations are more present between result and personality traits of the therapist, than with aspects of the method. Moreover we will try to explain why most of those comparisons are senseless. Therefore, we looked for safeguards that would secure the integration proces. During this operation, as well the theory and its components, as the corpus itself will probably be adapted and refined.

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An integrative theory is acceptable and highly probable, if these five conditions are met. In fact, an integrative scientific publication has always to be situated within a corpus of integrated theories. It gets its justification from that corpus, and renders this integrative corpus more probable, the links with reality being the results of each practical theory and treatment. All traditional references concerning experimental applications and referral to other publications are present, but much more is needed to be a true integrative scientific publication.

In scientific research e. As in psychology and psychiatry the possibilities for exact measuring the emotional and mental processes we are describing is very limited, if any, our general deceiving feeling that our knowledge is not very scientific, and that we have to wait till other sciences, perhaps neurology, will fill the scientific gap, is not justified.

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The integrative approach can strengthen the first two stages of the scientific process, most often neglected by traditional science: collecting the data by including all fragmented theories into the integration, and consciously elaborating integrative hypotheses. These two stages are so important that a weaker application of the third stage, is acceptable because it largely compensates.

From a historical point of view, it is interesting to remember that the pre-renaissancistic science worked exactly the same way as we describe here, because they generally lacked the measuring tools we have. And nevertheless, they did a great job! They even invented exact science…. Some successful achievements of integrative research. Integrative classification of psychotherapeutical schools by intervention level 2.

An integrative concept of depression 3. An integrative approach to psychopathologies. An integrative classification of psychotherapeutical schools by level of intervention.

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Several methods were already used to realize an integration between the dozens of psychotherapeutical schools and approaches available nowadays: the research on non-specific, general and common factors, the translation of the concepts of one school into the wordings of the other school s , etc. We propose a complimentary kind of approach. It appears that the so-called fragmentation of psychotherapeutic schools is much less intriguing and confusing than generally accepted.

Sometimes the client is already partially conscious of the nature of his problems, and the treatment can start at level 2 or 3. By bringing together a number of observations from different related psychological, neurological, psychopharmacological, genetic fields, we were able to develop a novel theory on the nature of depression, with useful implications for therapy. One of the two important functions of dreaming, apart from memory conservation, clearly seems to be the processing and recovery from frustrations.

The percentage is still higher in endogenous depressions. Ma is the most striking scale deviation, often more than depressiveness 2, D. The negotiated order that develops therefore involves:. These understandings have consequences in turn for the way in which people act, and the manner in which others react to them. Interactionist sociology asserts that the social identities we possess are influenced by the reactions of others.

So if we demonstrate some abnormal or 'deviant' behaviour it is likely that the particular label that is attached within a society at a particular time to this behaviour will then become attached to us as individuals. This can bring about important changes in our self-identity. A disease diagnosis could be one such label: for example, clinical depression and the assumptions about the person so labelled that then follow; here Goffman's work on this form of social stigma is particularly influential and will be discussed in detail in Section 3 of this module.

Within this perspective, medicine too would be viewed as a social practice and its claims to be an objective science would be disputed. In the doctor-patient interaction, patient dissatisfaction can result if the doctor too rigidly superimposes a pre-existing framework disease categories upon the subjective illness experience of the patient.

For example, by presuming that they can understand what that individual is suffering because of an interpretation of their signs and symptoms without reference to their health beliefs explored in Section 4. The Social Constructionist perspective of health and illness - The relativity of social reality. This sociological perspective derives from the phenomenological approach of Berger and Luckmann , who argued that everyday knowledge is creatively produced by individuals and is directed towards practical problems.

This essentially subjectivist approach embraces a number of very different sociological paradigms, but what such paradigms do have in common in relation to health and illness is a focus on the way we make sense of our bodies and bodily disturbances. Social constructionism refuses to draw a distinction between scientific medical and social knowledge. Nor would it ignore disease in favour of examining the illness experience, unlike the interactionist perspective. Rather, it maintains that all knowledge is socially constructed.

We are seen to come to know the world through the ideas and beliefs we hold about it, so that it is our concepts and categories which are the realities of the world For further reading see Bury - a sociological paper which focuses on social constructionism in relation to biomedicine. Foucault ,,, and the work of so-called post-structural social theorists are included within this perspective, though their concerns are frequently different from those researching within the tradition of phenomenology.

Foucault was interested in power in itself, not as reduced to an expression of some other conceptual starting point such as class, the state, gender or ethnicity. He sought to approach the relationship between agency and structure not through an essentialist analysis but by using an 'interpretative analytics' of practices and discourses, discerning the workings of power and knowledge in social relations.

In terms of health and illness, this Foucauldian approach to cultural constructionism draws attention to the ways in which we experience ourselves and our bodies not in some naturalistic way, but in what is termed a 'symbolically mediated fashion' - the body as a 'field of discourse'. As David Armstrong put it, in describing the development of medical knowledge in the latter half of the nineteenth century:. The body was only legible in that there existed in the new clinical techniques a language by which it could be read. Anthony Giddens' work , is concerned with attempting to overcome the traditional sociological dualities between agency and structure, and between the ideal and the material, which are discussed above.

According to May , Giddens seeks to examine the structural reproduction of social practices, whilst also insisting upon the opportunities which exist for individual innovation in social conduct:. Here Giddens is referring to what he describes as the 'duality of structure'. This is the idea that while social structures are themselves produced by men and women, at the same time these structures act as mediators to constrain and influence this very productive process.

In the context of health and illness, Giddens following Durkheim argues that for a society to function effectively requires that people have a sense of order and continuity - the social rules that people draw upon in their social practices. The existence of this structural continuity within society requires that people find intellectual and emotional meaning within their own personal lives - what he terms 'ontological security'. However, when we assess the meanings of illness or death and dying, for example, we recognise that these essentially individual experiences cannot simply be denied or disregarded by social structures.

Our mortality is something we all have to face individually, and this calls into question many of the assumptions we might hold about the structures that appear to shape our lives. Equally, our self-identity is not simply provided for us by the social system we live within: it is something we have to search for ourselves. The Sociology of health and illness: Defining the field. See Glossary for Section 1. Research into human behaviour can be quantitative or qualitative.

Quantitative research gathers or generates numerical data on what is measurable and classifiable. It quantifies information on characteristics, behaviours, attitudes and other variables and uses statistics to test for differences, examine trends and patters, and generalise findings from samples to populations. Qualitative research focuses on words and their meanings, using methods such as interviews and focus groups to gather rich information from participants.

Qualitative data may be grouped or classified according to themes, either pre-determined or emerging from the data, but it is not described or tested statistically. The main purpose of quantitative research is to test hypotheses, whereas qualitative research is mainly exploratory. Traditionally there was resistance to qualitative methods in scientific research on the basis that their findings do not tend to be reproducible, and a general perception that they lack scientific rigour.

The benefits of qualitative research for gaining more in-depth understanding of human behaviour and its relationship to health are now more widely appreciated, challenging the view of quantitative methodologies as the dominant paradigm. Ethnography, which is a methodology that involves the researcher integrating themselves into a setting and observing the behaviours of individuals and groups, is one way to overcome this barrier; however, it can be time-consuming and costly to conduct, and it can sometimes be difficult to obtain ethical approval and consent.

While both quantitative and qualitative methodologies have distinct strengths and limitations, it is unhelpful to polarise the debate by viewing them as opposing or rival paradigms. The causes of public health problems are complex and multi-faceted, and the most effective public health research will reflect this by using a range of methods Baum, Mixed methods research is becoming increasingly common, with quantitative data and qualitative studies complementing one another in both hypothesis generation and analysis.

Skip to main content. Create new account Request new password. Disciplines concerned with human behaviour Psychology, anthropology, history and sociology are all disciplines concerned with human behaviour. Probably the best way of defining the contribution of sociology is by looking at the key questions that originally stimulated the development of the academic discipline and which continue to underpin sociological research today: What gives social life a sense of stability and order? How does social change and development come about?

What is the nature of the relationship between the individual and the society in which they live? This is not to say that social structures determine human behaviour, rather that social structure is both the ever-present condition for , and reproduced outcome of , intentional human agency or actions. Sociology, like any other academic discipline, is theory-based.

In his book An Economic Theory of Democracy , [52] he applies the Hotelling firm location model to the political process. In the Downsian model, political candidates commit to ideologies on a one-dimensional policy space. Downs first shows how the political candidates will converge to the ideology preferred by the median voter if voters are fully informed, but then argues that voters choose to remain rationally ignorant which allows for candidate divergence.

Game Theory was applied in to the Cuban missile crisis during the presidency of John F. It has also been proposed that game theory explains the stability of any form of political government.


Taking the simplest case of a monarchy, for example, the king, being only one person, does not and cannot maintain his authority by personally exercising physical control over all or even any significant number of his subjects. Sovereign control is instead explained by the recognition by each citizen that all other citizens expect each other to view the king or other established government as the person whose orders will be followed. Coordinating communication among citizens to replace the sovereign is effectively barred, since conspiracy to replace the sovereign is generally punishable as a crime.

Thus, in a process that can be modeled by variants of the prisoner's dilemma , during periods of stability no citizen will find it rational to move to replace the sovereign, even if all the citizens know they would be better off if they were all to act collectively. A game-theoretic explanation for democratic peace is that public and open debate in democracies sends clear and reliable information regarding their intentions to other states.

In contrast, it is difficult to know the intentions of nondemocratic leaders, what effect concessions will have, and if promises will be kept. Thus there will be mistrust and unwillingness to make concessions if at least one of the parties in a dispute is a non-democracy. On the other hand, game theory predicts that two countries may still go to war even if their leaders are cognizant of the costs of fighting.

War may result from asymmetric information; two countries may have incentives to mis-represent the amount of military resources they have on hand, rendering them unable to settle disputes agreeably without resorting to fighting.

Moreover, war may arise because of commitment problems: if two countries wish to settle a dispute via peaceful means, but each wishes to go back on the terms of that settlement, they may have no choice but to resort to warfare. Finally, war may result from issue indivisibilities. Game theory could also help predict a nation's responses when there is a new rule or law to be applied to that nation. One example would be Peter John Wood's research when he looked into what nations could do to help reduce climate change. Wood thought this could be accomplished by making treaties with other nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

However, he concluded that this idea could not work because it would create a prisoner's dilemma to the nations. Unlike those in economics, the payoffs for games in biology are often interpreted as corresponding to fitness. In addition, the focus has been less on equilibria that correspond to a notion of rationality and more on ones that would be maintained by evolutionary forces.

Although its initial motivation did not involve any of the mental requirements of the Nash equilibrium , every ESS is a Nash equilibrium. In biology, game theory has been used as a model to understand many different phenomena. It was first used to explain the evolution and stability of the approximate sex ratios. Fisher suggested that the sex ratios are a result of evolutionary forces acting on individuals who could be seen as trying to maximize their number of grandchildren.

Additionally, biologists have used evolutionary game theory and the ESS to explain the emergence of animal communication. For example, the mobbing behavior of many species, in which a large number of prey animals attack a larger predator, seems to be an example of spontaneous emergent organization. Ants have also been shown to exhibit feed-forward behavior akin to fashion see Paul Ormerod 's Butterfly Economics. Biologists have used the game of chicken to analyze fighting behavior and territoriality. According to Maynard Smith, in the preface to Evolution and the Theory of Games , "paradoxically, it has turned out that game theory is more readily applied to biology than to the field of economic behaviour for which it was originally designed".

Evolutionary game theory has been used to explain many seemingly incongruous phenomena in nature. One such phenomenon is known as biological altruism. This is a situation in which an organism appears to act in a way that benefits other organisms and is detrimental to itself. This is distinct from traditional notions of altruism because such actions are not conscious, but appear to be evolutionary adaptations to increase overall fitness. Examples can be found in species ranging from vampire bats that regurgitate blood they have obtained from a night's hunting and give it to group members who have failed to feed, to worker bees that care for the queen bee for their entire lives and never mate, to vervet monkeys that warn group members of a predator's approach, even when it endangers that individual's chance of survival.

Evolutionary game theory explains this altruism with the idea of kin selection. Altruists discriminate between the individuals they help and favor relatives. The more closely related two organisms are causes the incidences of altruism to increase because they share many of the same alleles. This means that the altruistic individual, by ensuring that the alleles of its close relative are passed on through survival of its offspring, can forgo the option of having offspring itself because the same number of alleles are passed on.

Ensuring that enough of a sibling's offspring survive to adulthood precludes the necessity of the altruistic individual producing offspring. Similarly if it is considered that information other than that of a genetic nature e. Game theory has come to play an increasingly important role in logic and in computer science.

Several logical theories have a basis in game semantics. In addition, computer scientists have used games to model interactive computations. Separately, game theory has played a role in online algorithms ; in particular, the k-server problem , which has in the past been referred to as games with moving costs and request-answer games.

The emergence of the internet has motivated the development of algorithms for finding equilibria in games, markets, computational auctions, peer-to-peer systems, and security and information markets. Algorithmic game theory [64] and within it algorithmic mechanism design [65] combine computational algorithm design and analysis of complex systems with economic theory.

Game theory has been put to several uses in philosophy. Responding to two papers by W. In so doing, he provided the first analysis of common knowledge and employed it in analyzing play in coordination games. In addition, he first suggested that one can understand meaning in terms of signaling games. This later suggestion has been pursued by several philosophers since Lewis. Game theory has also challenged philosophers to think in terms of interactive epistemology : what it means for a collective to have common beliefs or knowledge, and what are the consequences of this knowledge for the social outcomes resulting from the interactions of agents.

Philosophers who have worked in this area include Bicchieri , , [70] [71] Skyrms , [72] and Stalnaker Since games like the prisoner's dilemma present an apparent conflict between morality and self-interest, explaining why cooperation is required by self-interest is an important component of this project. This general strategy is a component of the general social contract view in political philosophy for examples, see Gauthier and Kavka Other authors have attempted to use evolutionary game theory in order to explain the emergence of human attitudes about morality and corresponding animal behaviors.

These authors look at several games including the prisoner's dilemma, stag hunt , and the Nash bargaining game as providing an explanation for the emergence of attitudes about morality see, e. Cite error: A list-defined reference named "ohet" is not used in the content see the help page. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the mathematical study of optimizing agents. For the mathematical study of sequential games, see Combinatorial game theory. For the study of playing games for entertainment, see Game studies.

For other uses, see Game theory disambiguation. The study of mathematical models of strategic interaction between rational decision-makers. Index Outline Category. History Branches Classification. History of economics Schools of economics Mainstream economics Heterodox economics Economic methodology Economic theory Political economy Microeconomics Macroeconomics International economics Applied economics Mathematical economics Econometrics. Concepts Theory Techniques. Economic systems Economic growth Market National accounting Experimental economics Computational economics Game theory Operations research.

By application. Notable economists. Glossary of economics. Main articles: Cooperative game and Non-cooperative game. Main article: Symmetric game. Main article: Zero-sum game. Main articles: Simultaneous game and Sequential game. Prior knowledge of opponent's move? Extensive-form game Extensive game. Strategy game Strategic game. Main article: Perfect information. Main article: Determinacy.

See also: List of games in game theory. Main article: Extensive form game. Main article: Normal-form game. Main article: Cooperative game. Main article: Evolutionary game theory. Applied ethics Chainstore paradox Chemical game theory Collective intentionality Combinatorial game theory Confrontation analysis Glossary of game theory Intra-household bargaining Kingmaker scenario Law and economics Parrondo's paradox Precautionary principle Quantum game theory Quantum refereed game Rationality Reverse game theory Risk management Self-confirming equilibrium Tragedy of the commons Zermelo's theorem.

Chapter-preview links, pp. Statistical Science Statistical Science Vol. Institute Of Mathematical Statistics. Bibcode : arXivB. Game theory applications in network design. IGI Global. In Weintraub, E. Roy ed. Toward a History of Game Theory. Durham: Duke University Press. Retrieved on 3 January A New Kind of Science. Wolfram Media, Inc. Game Theory: Third Edition.

Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing. Stack Exchange. Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications. Volume 1. PBS Infinite Series. Perfect information defined at , with academic sources arXiv : Hearn; Erik D. Game-theoretic problems of mechanics.

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Games and Information , 4th ed. Description and chapter-preview. David M. Kreps Game Theory and Economic Modelling. Security Studies: an Introduction second edition. J Evol Econ. Camerer Archived 14 May at the Wayback Machine. Edward N. Zalta ed. Retrieved 21 August For a recent discussion, see Colin F. Aumann Agarwal and P. Halpern Description Archived 5 May at the Wayback Machine. Chapter 30 Voting procedures. Chapter 31 Social choice. Smith , Weintraub, ed.