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? A Journey for Remembrance and Forgiveness Empiricism ?

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Question 1

Weinberger in his article is criticizing works of various philosophers and their approach to science. However, his critics are not in a negative form; they are informative of the situation modern science is taking and variables behind the progress and failures. The main point that Weinberger is passing across in his article is that old paradigms on the philosophy of science are not viable enough with regards to demands of science today. This argument advances to the point where he points out that scientists and philosophers are not related or connected by any paradigm that currently exists. In this case, Weinberger’s disqualification of old paradigms is consoled by the fact that in spite of their lack of viability, current philosophers are unable to come up with their own paradigms that can qualify in order to be viable in the field of science philosophy.

His first criticisms on paradigms that already exist take Kuhn’s work as the example to go with. Through words of Kuhn (1996), it is clear that Weinberger tries to endorse the bias that Kuhn is taking. By taking Kuhn’s words as an example, Weinberger (2012) argues that modern science has been overwhelmed by the presence of old science, and it is through the lack of shifting mechanism that it is almost impossible for scientists to shift from one paradigm to another. Kuhn argues that people would rather write about famous scientists than new scientists, because new scientists have nothing to offer with regards to any field of science. On the other hand, Weinberger tends to support this idea by pointing out that the lack of new paradigms that replace old ones is a factor that burrs new scientists from impact on the subject.

Weinberger points out the use of famous scientists as a shield to prevent new scientists from venturing and making new paradigms that they can work with. The problem of Kuhn’s arguments on the same matter is that he does not seem to take the concept of relating or connecting paradigms seriously. In his view, he argues that people (scientists and philosophers) shift from one paradigm to another and they attach no correlation to the previous one. In this case, Weinberger’s point that the existence of old paradigms and what Kuhn refers as shift is just but confusion in the field of philosophy (Holland, 2010). On the other hand, the fact that Weinberger is allowing readers of his article to make informed judgments on the take of various philosophers on the subject, is almost confusing most of his readers. The fact that Kuhn argues that old paradigms still function actively and the lack of new ones has resulted in to lack of modern paradigms does not blend well with the concept of incommensurability. A shift in paradigms means creation or invention of new paradigms; and the fact that a shift in a paradigm results into referral of the previous version leads to a connection between paradigms. Therefore, Weinberger’s point that understanding of paradigms lies in the judgment of readers does not quite satisfy curious minds. Arguments presented by Kuhn and other scientists cannot be disqualified under critics of Weinberger; however, their viability does not depend on the endorsement from Weinberger either.

In this case, one would disagree with Weinberger’s idea of maintaining a neutral stand on the subject of philosophy and science in professions like nursing. Weinberger’ main point is that people venturing in the nursing profession and those following philosophy, should be able to settle for informed decisions and not to rush in supporting or discrediting philosophical approaches by various philosophers.

Question 2

In commensurability is a concept brought forth by Thomas Kuhn upon which he argues that shifts in paradigms do not happen, because there are no connections between paradigms. Kuhn’s arguments that science does not progress in any form is one of the many that have infuriated scientists. The concept of Incommensurability can be defined as the separation of paradigms in order to focus on single pieces without attaching connection with other pieces. Through this understanding, Kuhn’s point is that science exists in a single form and can be represented with the one piece. Other scientists reject this point because many scientific discoveries and inventions have been applied in various fields to blend with others for final products. The fact that principles and laws of science still exist nowadays and are applied to various fields goes against Kuhn’s point. A shift from physics and biology, fields that Kuhn tends to apply his incommensurability concept, does not go hand in hand with fields that combine the two. Nursing, for example, is one of professions that incommensurability does not make sense when applied. The fact that scientific theories and practices are used in more than just nursing and heavy-duty factories, philosophy should be appreciated as a form of theoretical science and so should professions that apply science and other humanities.

In nursing, the concept of incommensurability is not viable because of three reasons. One of the reasons is that incommensurability implies that science does not make a real progress. Secondly, incommensurability implies that there is no truth in science. Lastly, it implies that science is based on irrational decisions. There are various reasons or assumptions that Kuhn took into consideration by the time he was writing the concept of incommensurability; however, the assumptions, no matter what they are, do not mean that they can disqualify science in all aspects. With factual approaches, nurses all over the world are able to provide the necessary care needed by various patients. Facts are accessed through scientific inventions; if this was not the case, nursing would not be reliable on evidence based approach. On the other hand, nursing is a combination of inputs – ethics, morals, evidence based interventions, regulation of various machinery and modification of approaches with the need that are scientific based. In default, incommensurability is not viable because the science used in nursing is based on truth. On the other hand, changes that have occurred in the field of nursing from the year 1950 to the year 2012 are vital, and ignoring them under the argument that science does not make real progress would be an injustice to those dedicating their time to bringing gradual changes.

The difference between terms evolution and revolution can be summarized as gradual change in both shape and ability for evolution and strategic change with existing shapes and abilities for revolution (Losee, 2004). The point that is made by the concept of incommensurability is that famous scientists and old paradigms are only viable variables that science should take into consideration. Ancient scientists like Archimedes and Newton were so decent in what they were doing that their work is much applicable in today’s world. However, considering that Newton never took off to space, in spite of his definition of escape velocity, specifications and other inputs have to be done outside Newton’s definitions and mathematical solutions. In the same case, one cannot say that the nursing is not evolving just because there is a use of ancient science. Facts that blending of scientific ideas and improvising of concepts are enough evidence to show that the real progress or evolution of the field of nursing takes place. The concept of incommensurability can be applied measurably to specific disciplines but not in general science or nursing.

Question 3A

The idea of paradigm shifting is an opinion that Kuhn seemed to have various reasons to support it. However, his opinion, as much viable as it is, was limited to some functional abilities and was unable to address the future. The fact that Kuhn claims that progress in science takes place through shifting of paradigms, is an unjustified stance of professional myopia. If Kuhn opened his eyes and deduced that science was just a journey that one counters by skipping a step, he was wrong. His view tells readers that science has not progressed because nothing that makes sense today will, in a future date. Considering this view, anyone in shoes of a nurse or using the worldview of the nursing profession would conclude that Kuhn’s concept of paradigm shifting is not a viable approach to the science progress. Paradigm shift means that ideas and approaches that were applied by former scientists are not applicable by new or modern scientists. This fact shows that discoveries that are used in the current nursing profession are not related to any other that existed before. Kuhn’s idea of paradigm shifting is worse than the sci-fi concept of shape shifters. This is because, despite the fact that a shift in shape occurs, composition of materials or elements can be traced back to the original shape. In case of Kuhn, paradigm shifting simply means new ideas, new approach, new concept and pilot project. In the world view of nursing, paradigm shift cannot make sense, because the lack of connection between paradigms would mean the revision of the whole fraternity. Such changes cannot take place in fields that are less dynamic than the business world.

Progress in the nursing field is attributed to the advancement in science. The fact that nursing profession does progress through the total overhaul of existing paradigms the science that controls this field does not either (Meleis, 2011). Progress in science, with respect to the nursing worldview, is a compound and takes phases rather than gradual changes. Progress is a compound in that previous paradigms that may be steering the nursing field towards the ethical practice, evidence based, and application of technology to counter various difficulties; can be attributed to phase-by-phase changes. In this case, the set of ideas and decisions made previous may not be 100% viable, but their implementation means they were applicable. At this point, changes in the set of ideas and decisions take an amendment tone rather than architectural work on new models of operation and care delivery. Therefore, a paradigm shift is a concept that is only applicable in business acquisitions and not in science (a situation where an organization is acquired by another and its former ideas, and decisions are scrapped entirely).

To discredit Kuhn’s ideas as viable in the field of nursing, definition of the term progress is taken into consideration. Progress is the movement of implementing new ideas to diversify abilities of a subject, a machine and organization, or a group of people working together. Examples for each of the above pointers include waking early and leaving work late to accomplish more, servicing a machine to enhance reliability, acquiring a smaller organization to attract a larger market share, and division of work, according to areas of expertise to enhance the output in teamwork. In other words, progress can be defined as regular and consistent improvement. It is, therefore, pointless to associate sciences involved in nursing with a paradigm shift, if the central point is referring to the progress of the field. Ideally, the nursing field is one among those that improve on generation basis, but improvements take shape and form of steps. Training and development are inputs that such a field employees in acquisition of latest technologies are a factor of appraising the performance and accountability (Leornard, Sutphen, and Benner, 2009).

Question 3B

The fact that paradigm shifting is not a viable concept or practice in the current nursing world can be supported by an example on the nursing education. Education is the acquisition or transfer of knowledge to a willing subject or group of subjects. Taking this route by considering the nature of the nursing fraternity in the 1950s and how currently it will assist in understanding the factors that bur shifting of paradigms and those that display a routine. In the 1950s, nursing was a popular profession and training and development courses took place in a setting that allowed the individuals to learn new concepts and apply their knowledge in practical settings. Sources of knowledge were limited to books and experienced personnel who would feed nurse enthusiasts with knowledge and guide them in undertaking practical tasks. The scenario in the 1950s is not quite different from the current scenario. The only difference that has occurred is through the inclusion of various sources of education and government regulatory policies. Ethics in the field of nursing is a vital requirement that was not enforced in the 1950s like it is in the 21st century. This means that, in the line of ethics, inclusion of regulation policies is one of the improvements that have been made in the nursing field (Keil & Wilson, 2001). On the other hand, the sources of education have improved from physical-library books to electronic books, websites, informative agencies, and hired professionals. This is not a shift in the source of ideas but rather a diversification of the sources of knowledge. The diversification of knowledge sources means that nurses can be informed on various areas of their practice through the unlimited number of information sources. Comparing this phenomenon to the earlier version of experienced nurses and books, progress can be seen through an increase of resources rather than implementation of new paradigms.

Education in the field of nursing is a vital weapon that every individual is required to have in terms of fighting the challenges likely to occur in the line of duty. The fact that education is a vital installment, its source is diversified and can be outsourced from various platforms. In this case, the form of education that is acceptable for medical personnel is the ability to link theory with practice and investing flexibility with time. In this case, the difference between ways education is transferred from the source to the user is through the applied platforms. These platforms include Internet and physical libraries. Given that the world is transforming from analogue to digital systems, the people are not transforming, and intake of information is the same as it was 60 years ago. Changes in platforms have presented an opportunity to practitioners to gain access and transfer the information swiftly. This phenomenon has not resulted into a shift in paradigm on how education is acquired or transferred. Therefore, the fact that historically information could be accessed from physical libraries did not mean that nursing was any less effective. Now that platforms for acquiring education have changed; sciences behind the nursing and the effectiveness of nurses have only improved and not are shifting in paradigms.

In the 1950s, the nursing fraternity was in charge of any kind of reported case of care. The public was not involved in care education, as there were few instances that guaranteed the education as a viable for application.  The difference between the 50s and today is that nursing educates everyone, if the circumstances allow for the remote care. Care for the elderly is one of the fields where family members are educated on how to provide care. Therefore, from the 50’s up to date, transformation in nursing education has been consistent and cannot be confused with the shifting of paradigms.

Section II

Question 1

Authors suggest that conceptual foundations of stress are responsible for the enhancement or constraining of the development of resilience. Considering aspects of stress and causes of stress in this study, authors do not specify the type of stress and the magnitude of stress that would guarantee students to have enhanced stress or constrained development of resilience. Considering the fact that stress is a result of difficult times in the life of students, authors do not offer a connection between their allegation and the hypothesized model. The hypothesized model suggests that when students experience stresses that directly affects their academic performance; they are at a risk of developing depression. The first hypothetical approach to this subject goes against causes of stress, and eliminates the possibility of taking the nature of stress in consideration (Mackinnon & Dwyer, 1993). A Stressful experience in this case is connected to academic performance alone, while ignoring the possibility of secondary causes. Secondary causes of academic failure can be linked with stress that affects the social life rather than academic performance. In this case, the secondary cause of academic stress would have the effect of poor social skills in the academic setting. Authors in this case do not take into consideration the possibility of rebound reactions of stress rather than direction effects. The application of the hypothesized model, without the inclusion of the nullified or proven points, means that the inclusion of the conceptual foundation is mono-faceted and does not take into consideration other effects of stress indirectly linked with academic performance.

Provision of support in  reaching to the conclusion that conceptual foundations suggest that experience of stress leads to the enhancement or constraining of resilience development, is scantly reached due to the lack of supportive evidence. The supportive evidence that would show readers that the support provided in the article is enough would include more variables than present ones. The fact that some random university and college students were subjected to research does not quite satisfy that the survey was done well. Some problems that arise from the consideration of the conclusion is that, the objective of the study is limited to university students only, while the study sample involved college students. In both form and composition, there is a difference between the college and university and the inclusion of both in the study does not have a definitive purpose to serve. Secondly, besides age and the type of stress that the sample was interviewed on, the question of ethnicity does not seem to be a factor of consideration in the study. It is easy to rule out that the experience of stress enhances or constrains the development of resilience, but to render the  truthful and valid study, some assumptions should be made and stated in the objectives’ part. After all, university students from the perspective of university attendants are of various ethnicities, unless a racist owns the institution (Fergus & Zimmerman, 2005).

The concept of depression in the academic handling of stress is only associated with poor or unsatisfactory performance of students. However, authors explain circumstances in which depression can occur, but fail to compound types of stress and the duration that would result into depression. The motive of authors is to portray that depression is a result of a prolonged stress. However, there is no clear indication of what causes stress. For example, authors claim that students exposed to stressful events may develop negative perceptions that would hinder them from developing resilience. The problem of this statement is evident in that poor performance is regarded as the result of stress and cause of depression; authors do not take poor performance as a cause of stress or persistent poor performance as a cause of depression.

Question 2

The related hypotheses of the study include the effect of performance with respect to the stress and development of depression and advancement in academic failure results to diminished ability to self-management of self-efficacy. The relation between these hypotheses and the variable of age is widely speculated although the sample fits a certain age group. A certain age group would only belong to the university population. In this case, the connection and relation between the age and the first hypothesis is that, the age group belonging to the university population would have their academics affected by stress and persistence of this poor performance would lead to depression. The relation between age and performance is that, students are considered to have a lot going on in their lives. For example, a university student will start failing in his or her academics, if he/she is unable to maintain a certain level of performance. In this case, inputs like drug abuse and social issues will be considered problems or causes of stress, if they can be attributed to the performance registered.

On the other hand, gender is a factor that connects performance and development of depressive episodes under inputs of stress and stress-causing variables. The connection between gender and academic performance with respect to stress is that, with other factors kept constant, females do not fare as well in stress management as males (Mackinnon, & Dwyer, 1993). In this case, inspite of the fact that this is not addressed to the study, performance is expected to vary immensely under the slightest experience of stress. Through this, the gender most vulnerable to stress is likely to incur stressful episodes much more adverse that the other. In connection to academic performance, hypothesis (a) would be proven true, if academic performance results into depression. On the other hand, despite the fact that males and females will not handle stress the same way, persistence in academic failure allows depression to take a center stage and decapitate the ability of the student to self-manage the self-efficacy.

Academic performance from the study above is linked to stress. The ability of a student to the self-management of the self-efficacy in handling stress is one of the points regarded as strong points. The strong point in this case, is that a student would be able to manage stress by adapting to the stressful situation and making progress in academic endeavors. Through the development of self-efficacy, students are believed to avoid depression that would appear if they were failing in their academics. Therefore, the connection between the academic performance and stress results to depression, if the subject is unable to manage stressful situations effectively. Several routes can be taken to arrive to a depressive situation. One of the routes is ignoring aspects of age and gender, is the extent to which stress influences the academic performance and the probability of resulting to depression. This route does not depend on one’s inability to manage his/her stress to land an individual in depressive situation. The second route is inclusive of stress, and the level of influence it has on the academic performance of the student. This route, the academic performance and the extent it is influenced by stress decapitates individual’s self-efficacy and results to depression. Therefore, the hypotheses of the study and the conceptual foundation are related through the input of stress and its influence in academic performance. In the long run; stress, academic failure, inability to self-manage self-efficacy, and development of depressive episodes can be taken as a life-cycle to academic failure and inability to manage stress. If a prognosis of depression is established and diagnosis follows, the lack of intervention with a mechanism that enhances the self-efficacy would lead to constrain in resilience can be termed as a chronic stage where performance cannot be improved.

Question 3

Key variables of the conceptual and operations include exposure, experience, age, gender, relation between academics and depression, and status of students. These key variables are defined to some extent, making some clearly understandable concerning the study design while others are scantly tossed across the literature without actually serving a main purpose. For example, there is a diagram that shows a connection between the academic performance and depression where other variables like gender and age are included. As much as the conceptual definition of how stress and academic performance are concerned, it is hard to point out how age and gender are related, with regards to the diagram. Their connection with the study objective does not clearly develop; this is because the method of the study defines the number of students interviewed and only highly question of gender as a report of the students who managed to complete the study. The study does not suggest or give an account of how males faired as compared to females. This lack of consistency makes the study quite unreliable and the fact that the university equates them, does nullify aspects of gender and age.

By collectively addressing the issue of stress, the study design does not group the sample into various groups with respect to their causes of stress. The definition of variables that can be considered as problematic is associated with causal aspects of stress. With family issues, social factors and abuse of drugs being some of the factors highlighted in the study, it is not expected that students stressed by drug addiction are likely to acquire the same level of academic performance as those dealing with family issues. On the other hand, the influence of stress on levels of academic is considered a possible cause of depression and possible cause of disorienting one’s ability to self-manage the self-efficacy.  This confusion should be cleared by proportions that show how much of each influence the development of depression.

Question 4

The overall design of the study is fairly designed, except for main drawbacks that one cannot help noticing.The study starts with a clear definition of its layout and its purpose. The objective of the study is well-developed but authors stray considerably when they include colleges in the sample they were interviewing. The introductory part of the study suggests that the study is a collective response from postsecondary school students. While, on the other hand, the study objective suggests that the study is aimed at establishing the self-efficacy levels for university students (Sawatzky, et al., 2012). For this reason, the objective of the study is not acquired, as the number of students interviewed does not reflect those considered as university students. Concerning the study design, focusing on samples that are not addressed in the objective part is an element of failure and results may not reflect the primary purpose and aim of the study. The problem in this design is caused by the diversification of the sample, while maintaining the scope of the objective.

On other aspects of the study, it is clear that the study is coercive and result-oriented in that it gives an insight of inputs that result to depression in an academic setting. Some of these inputs are inclusive of individual and collective student’s behavior and, therefore, the results of the design represent views of the majority. However, the turn up of the sample population and the number of people who managed to complete the study show some lack of coordination and/or improper study design. The fact that the study involved more than 300 questions and the number of interviewed students was more than 90,000 may be the cause why more than 70% participants failed to complete the survey (Finney & DiStefano, 2006). Other factors held constant, would it make sense, if the study termed those failing to complete the survey as depressed?

Question 5

The ethical issues that are likely to have been considered by authors include privacy and protection of participants’ confidentiality. Observation of privacy means respecting of participants’ choice of not disclosing some personal information during the study, as this could have negative implications for the participant. Given that the study was establishing the number of university students able to manage stress and avoid depressive episodes, it would be inappropriate for the surveyors to ask questions that infiltrate the participants’ private life. The causes of stress can be a wide spectrum of issues and for participants with family related stress, have the choice to hold information on that particular line of causal aspect. With respect to privacy, the design of the questions is supposed to be clear and optional areas requiring personal details (Higgins, 2007). In this case, it is assumed that authors of the study maintained a high profile on privacy in terms of question-design, as well as the level of mandatory response requirements.

Secondly, confidentiality of participants is another main consideration that authors must have been observed. The confidentiality of participants involves the assurance that personal information will not be disclosed in any setting. In addition, participants are not asked to provide personal information like contact information and names in questionnaires. This helps in the establishment of trust relationship between the surveyor and the participant. In this case, if confidentiality was not observed, the turn up would be lower considering that privacy and anonymity is a standard requirement for research aimed at providing the reliable data. The lack of confidentiality agreement between a surveyor and a participant affects the overall findings in that some questions would be skipped or answered dishonestly. The importance of confidentially is the provision of identity protection.

Question 6

Authors are not vigilant on the aspect of linking study findings and practice. There are several instances where this trend fails to make sense at all. Findings of the study suggest that approximately one-half of the interviewed students found to have difficulties in management of self-efficacy had problems with academic performance. The approximate half in these findings shows neither a connection between conceptual foundations discussed in the literature, nor provides support to the hypotheses of the study. For this reason, the study objective is not satisfactorily addressed and, in addition, the practicality of findings is not specific to a certain group of people. The practicality of findings is highly questionable in that students interviewed were picked randomly from the same region within a specific period. The study did not take into consideration the probability of trending behaviors. For example, a surveyor cannot declare that half of the world’s population was affected negatively by the Japan’s FUSushima nuclear disaster by interviewing FUSushima residents. The point of the above example is that findings of the North America based study do not reflect the practicality of general university students.

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