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Definitions and Examples of Theory | HRFnd - Part 2
Definitions and Examples of Theory

Frederick Herzberg was an American psychologist who was influential in the field of business management. One of his most significant contributions was to introduce the concept of job enrichment into the employment sector. As part of his efforts, he would also publish the Motivator-Hygiene theory.

According to the Frederick Herzberg theory, people are motivated by dual factors when considering the satisfaction they each experience with their employment: motivation and hygiene. The idea, at its core, is somewhat simple.

Dissecting the Frederick Herzberg Theory

Hygiene within the workplace will not motivate a person to work harder or be more productive, but if it is not present, it will lower the motivation a worker will experience. Hygiene can be literal, such as the difference between a clean or dirty toilet. It can also refer to the level of job security a worker may experience, the level of pay that is available, or the potential for promotional opportunities.

The hygiene component deals with satisfaction or dissatisfaction that occurs with needs which are independent of one another. It challenged the thinking at the time that dissatisfaction was the result of an absence of factors that would encourage satisfaction.

As for motivation, there are factors that may not lower it, but they can be responsible for increasing it. Basic actions, such has offering job recognition for a worker, providing the opportunity for a promotion, or simply thanking someone for the work that is being done can be enough to increase motivation.

For some workers, the ability to do their job on a daily basis is a motivational factor in itself. Helping people get over an illness as a doctor, for example, could be its own motivation and provide an individual with the job satisfaction they desire.

Growth factors that are included in the theory involve achievements, advancements, and additional responsibilities. Although workers may see money, competition, or accolades as a way to ensure their standing in their position, real rewards come through motivational factors that provide internal and external rewards simultaneously.

To be completely satisfied with a job, a worker must have both factors met in their own unique way on a consistent basis.

There Are 4 Possible Combinations in the Frederick Herzberg Theory

According to Herzberg, there are four potential combinations that can be found in every workplace environment.

1. High Hygiene and High Motivation.This is the ideal situation and employee complaints will be few.

2. High Hygiene and Low Motivation. Employees do not complain, but are not highly motivated to be productive. Think of this as a place where someone goes to earn a paycheck and nothing more.

3. Low Hygiene and High Motivation. Employees will have a high level of complaint, but they are also highly motivated to be productive. They see their job as being exciting, but other conditions, such as their paycheck, are under-whelming.

4. Low Hygiene and Low Motivation. In this setting, employees are not motivated to work and offer regular complaints about working conditions.

Although Herzberg’s theory focuses on the individual and how their internal job factors motivate or de-motivate them, there are certain work-arounds that are part of the theory that can help to counter some of the negative experiences that workers may be encountered. He suggests that workers be able to plan, perform, and evaluate their own work.

To do these, he offers 4 steps that can be implemented in the workplace.

  • Remove some of the controls that managers have over their direct reports and increase the responsibility and accountability of individual workers.
  • Create natural working units that can be pursued to completion instead of segmenting duties.
  • Provide continuous and regular feedback regarding worker performance and productivity instead of relying on first-level supervisors to do so.
  • Encourage workers to take on challenging tasks or refine their expertise.

Imagine an easy job that pays well, but provides zero internal benefits beyond the paycheck being earned. A worker is more likely to quit this job because they experience a low motivation factor. A challenging job with a similar pay, however, could result in the same experience if the worker feels like they are not being compensated enough for what they’re being asked to do.

Everyone goes into a job with certain expectations. As they get to know the work and experience the social aspects of employment, the Motivation-Hygiene two-factor theory by Frederick Herzberg comes into play. Because satisfaction and dissatisfaction act independently of one another, it is possible to balance them so that workers can stay happy, productive, and motivated.

Francesco Redi presented a cell theory which helped to discredit the idea that living things can come from non-living things. Born in Italy, his 17th century experiments were just one aspect of his life. He was a published poet, a working physician, and an academic while pursuing a passion in science.

What made Redi’s work so notable was the fact that he relied on the information that controlled experiments could provide.

The Experiment by Francesco Redi

In the early days of science, people relied on what their senses told them. If a person couldn’t see something happen, then it was assumed that nothing happened. Therefore, if someone were to leave meat outside in the heat and allow it to spoil, the maggots that would eventually come out of the meat were a “spontaneous” occurrence.

What Redi wanted to do was disprove the idea that living things could be spontaneously generated from non-living cells. To do this, he created a controlled experiment.

The experiment by Francesco Redi was quite basic. He took 6 jars and placed a piece of meat into all of them. He would then cover 3 of the jars with muslin and leave the other 4 uncovered. As one might guess, maggots developed in the uncovered jars, but did not develop in the jars that were covered.
Why? Because the maggots are a life-stage of the fly, which Redi would document when reporting his findings.

Then Redi continued the experiment. He left just one jar uncovered, while covering two others. One was covered in cork, while the other was covered in gauze. The flies could not get through the cork, but they did reproduce on top of the gauze. This allowed Redi to show the maggots on top of the gauze, not in the jar with the cork, and on the meat with the open jar.

It is this controlled process, where ideas can be compared to one another so that findings can have evidence to support them, that has become part of the science since this initial experiment.

He was able to provide this type of experiment because of past work with snake venom. There were many misconceptions about what would happen to a person when exposed to venom. Redi would show people that venom came from a fang, in the form of a yellow fluid. He showed that tight ligatures bound around the wound could prevent passage of the venom to the heart.

And, perhaps most importantly, he showed that the venom was dangerous if it entered the bloodstream, countering the popular idea that venom is poisonous if swallowed or that one could eat the head of a viper and have an effective antidote.

His early works and theories helped to create the field of experimental toxicology. His later works would help to establish the benefits of controlled experiments. He would then take these experiences and expand upon them further, helping to show people that even the smallest forms of life could still produce life on their own without spontaneity.

Francesco Redi and Parasitology

Francesco Redi, through his work on disproving spontaneous generation, became quite familiar with various insects. He published a book called Esperienze Intorno all Generazione degl-Insetti that offers several relevant illustrations of tiger ticks, deer ticks, and the first descriptions of certain larva that are a life-stage of deer flies. He would also be the first to describe the sheep liver fluke.

In total, Redi helped to improve the knowledge in parasitology through descriptions of almost 200 different species.

Through these observations, he was able to show that parasites produce eggs. Those eggs develop into a larva stage, which then eventually turns into an adult stage parasite.

The reason why Redi went to this level of documentation and description was because his work was occurring at the same time as the work of Galileo. The power of the church was immense at the time and people were being jailed or killed for apostasy when presenting scientific theories that ran counter to what was believed to be in the Bible. Redi saw what was happening to Galileo and ensured that his work could be scientifically sound without presenting a theological question of doubt.

His most famous adage, in fact, that “all life comes from life,” is based on a passage of scripture, just as much of his work. That association helped him become an established name in the scientific community without receiving the same threats from the church that other thinkers happened to encounter.

Fierce Deity is a presumed character that is part of The Legend of Zelda lore. The character first appeared in the title “Majora’s Mask” and is the spirit that is believed to inhabit the mask in question.

There are very few facts that have been released by game designers regarding Fierce Deity, but there are some assumptions that can be taken from events which occur in the game play and subsequent titles. For example: when Link dons a mask, he transforms into the shape of the spirit that inhabits the mask as they would have appeared in their lifetime.

When he puts on the Deku Mask, for example, Link turns into a form that is believed to be the son of Deku Butler. In the same way, the Fierce Deity Mask transformed Link into what becomes a warrior god, wielding a sword that can shoot sword beams.

We also know that in “Majora’s Mask,” Fierce Deity came from the world of Termina and gave Link the power of this character.

What If the Fierce Deity Theory Is Not About a Person?

Not every transformation mask that can be found in The Legend of Zelda cannon is attributable to a singular individual. There are masks that represent entire races and Link simply takes on a form that is similar to what that race looks like, with a few personal characteristics left after the transformation.

That means the Fierce Deity mask could represent a race of god-like characters instead of only one specific character.

The problem with the idea of the Fierce Deity being a race is that the mask is individualized instead of pluralized in its name. It is called the “Fierce Deity’s” mask, not the “Fierce Deities’” mask. Because the possessive form is being used, that implies that the mask belongs to a specific character that goes by that name.

How a New Game Helped to Expand the Theory

In “Breath of the Wild,” Fierce Deity equipment can be obtained within the game for Link to use. It is done by using the Majora’s Mask amiibo with the Rune amiibo. The resulting armor is described as being from a hero from a different world who had obtained powers that could only be described as god-like.

Mic also takes you through the process of obtaining the Fierce Deity items if you don’t have the amiibo or don’t want to wait multiple days to scan them.

Four pieces of equipment are available with this set: a sword, the mask, the armor, and boots.

The in-game descriptions for these items is what provides extra evidence to the existence of Fierce Deity as an actual character in the cannon for The Legend of Zelda.

For the Sword: “A peculiar, great sword allegedly used by a hero from a world in which the moon threatened to fall. It slashes wildly in battle, as if it were possessed by a fierce deity.”

For the Armor: “Legend has it that this armor once belonged to the hero of a world in which the moon threatened to fall. When you wear it, you will feel a fierce, god-like power flow through you.”

For the Mask: “Legends say this mask was once worn by a hero from a world in which the moon threatened to fall. It looks scary, but wearing it offers a fierce, god-like power.”

For the Boots: “According to legend, these boots were once worn by a hero from a world in which the moon threatened to fall. Wearing them offers god-like power.”

Although the term “legend” is used in the descriptions, there is some suggestion that the cannon supports Fierce Deity as a character. Majora gives Link the god’s mask, which implies that a deity stronger than Majora and potentially darker helped to create it.

The problem is that there is a split between the English-language cannon within the game and the Japanese-language version. The statements made by Majora, calling Fierce Deity a “true bad guy,” are not present in the non-dubbed version.

Additional explanations for the Fierce Deity theory are offered in the manga series that has accompanied the game over the years, but is not treated as official cannon for The Legend of Zelda.

Whether Fierce Deity is a true character, a plot fill-in to help the game work, or is a representation of an entire species of god-like people, there is no denying the power of the items that can be obtained that are associated with the name. For that reason, Fierce Deity will likely continue to live on in cannon in some official way.

First proposed by Joseph Berger, the expectation states theory is a social psychological theory that looks at how status hierarchies form within small groups. Within a group setting, the expected competence that a person has becomes the basis of the hierarchy that forms. This allows the group to utilize their resources in the best possible way to achieve an assigned task.

It can be applied to large-scale and small-scale situations.

For the expectation states theory to function, Berger must make 4 basic assumptions.

1. Activation. In any given situation, the characteristic most needed to complete a task becomes the social basis of discrimination for determining leadership within the group.
2. Burden of Proof. Once the hierarchy is established based on the expectations of skills from the leaders, there is a burden to prove that the skills are present to complete the task.
3. Assignment. Additional tasks may need to be completed that require the skills of other group members, which solidifies the hierarchy that is established as delegation comes from the leader.
4. Basic Expectations. As expectations are met by those at the top of the hierarchy, they are able to establish a firmer level of control over the group and be able to maintain their leadership over time.

A fifth assumption must also be made in the expectations states theory, although it is not part of the identified assumptions. Gender differences and roles must be seen as salient for the group to be able to function. Certain cultural norms may also need to be seen as salient for the hierarchy to be established.

Why Must There Be Saliency with Gender and Societal Positions?

Men and women have gender differences that are undeniable. In the past, that has led to patriarchal societies where the role of the woman is inferior to the role of the man. In certain group structures, especially in small groups, this view of society may still be present. Some men may feel their gender alone makes them a natural leader. Some women may feel like they need to take a secondary role to a man because that was how they grew up.

The opposite can also be true. Women may see themselves as natural leaders and men can see themselves as natural followers.

These perspectives must be set aside for the good of the group in the expectation states theory. The hierarchy must be established through the skills that are being presented for group evaluation instead of preconceived notions of superiority or inferiority.

In modern society, it isn’t just gender that can play a role in how people see the world and assume certain individuals “deserve” leadership positions. Here are some common points of separation that must also be discarded when forming the hierarchy.

  • Political affiliation. Someone who sees themselves as “conservative” may feel they are superior to someone who sees themselves as “liberal” and attempt to assume the mantle of leadership. The reverse is also true.
  • Religious affiliation. A Christian may see themselves as superior to a Muslim. A Jew may see themselves as being superior to a Buddhist. The reverse can also be true here as well.
  • Socioeconomic status. Having more money than someone else on a team can also create feelings of superiority. Purposely not having more money than others can create similar feelings.

When creating a hierarchy in a small group setting, these conditions must be set aside. Just because a person is a Christian doesn’t mean they’re an awesome carpenter. You need to have gone to school or have a family background in that field to begin establishing the assumed skill set that the group may need to complete a task.

It’s like saying, “Because I’m a man, I can fix cars better than a woman.”

Now that doesn’t mean these influential factors cannot play any role in the hierarchy structure that forms in a group setting. Sometimes, in fact, these factors can actually become part of the assumed skills that may be needed to take on a leadership role.

When Does Our Assumed Roles Become an Asset?

Let’s say you’re about to sit down for a nice afternoon of religious studies. You’ve got a cup of coffee in hand and a small group that is ready to crack open a holy book. The instructor comes in holding a Bible and says, “I’d like to have your group discuss the pros and cons of what James is trying to discuss in Chapter 2 of his book.”

You take a look around at your group. Let’s say you’re an atheist. There are two Muslims there, three who practice Hinduism, and one person who identifies themselves as a Christian.

That label of “Christian” brings with it an assumption of knowledge. They chose that religion, so they should know what James has to say. Or, at the very least, be able to find that book in the Bible.

In the establishment of a hierarchy, the label creates an assumption of skill. That person will take up the mantle of leadership, whether they like it or not.

Yet now they must be able to prove their skills. What if the person who identifies skills that work directly with the task at-hand shows that although they bear the label, they do not have the skills necessary to retain leadership?

The mantle will then pass to the next person who can take over at that step. Anyone who says, “I know where that book is,” and then opens the Bible to it becomes the leader.

The same is true for any skill. If your task is to fix a car and you’re the only one who has studied auto mechanics, then congrats! You’re the leader unless someone else can prove their skill set is better than your own.

Even gender can become an asset when looking at the establishment of a hierarchy, though it gets a little trickier there. It tends to be more about the physical assets a person can provide (Are they tall? Strong?) then a reflection of the actual gender.

How Do We Draw Information to Establish a Hierarchy?

According to the expectation states theory, people draw information about themselves and others based on their identity. If a person thinks of themselves as a leader, then other people will associate leadership with that person.

On the other hand, a person who is part of a marginalized minority group in society will likely experience the same marginalization in a small group setting, even if they don’t see themselves in that light. That is because people also draw information about themselves based on how they feel that the rest of society sees them.

To accomplish a task, people must establish a hierarchy to help put the best resources into the best places so the job gets done quickly. By following the principles laid forth in the expectation states theory, a better understanding of this process can be achieved.

Created Martin Fishbein in the 1970s, the expectancy value theory is linked to the uses and gratifications theory. The idea is an expansion of one fundamental concept: that behavior is a function of the expectations that each individual has. Those expectations are based on the value of whatever goal that person happens to be working toward at any given moment.

Because multiple behaviors can be chosen at any given moment, with some approaches offering simultaneous behaviors that could be implemented, the theory suggests that an individual will choose a behavior that provides the best possible combination of value and success in relation to the goal.

How Do People Orientate Themselves to the World?

According to the expectancy value theory, people will orient themselves to the world they see based on a foundation of their belief systems and evaluations. Belief can be religious, scientific, or any other system that has helped to establish that person’s unique personality.

People choose behaviors based on their expectations of finding success. Attitudes, behavioral intentions, or specific approaches are seen as a function of evaluation. There will be degrees of positive and negative outcomes that come from every behavioral decision that is made. Choosing the behavior with the greatest positive outcome options, combined with the least negative outcome options, will directly affect how that person interacts with the world.

Those beliefs, when thoroughly evaluated, lead a person toward specific gratifications. This is where the “wants” and “needs” are given definition. People have specific survival needs, such as food, water, and shelter, but the belief structures of the individual can create different needs that may usually fall into the “wants” category.

Certain influences can affect this evaluation process as well, such as addiction. The average person may not “need” cocaine, for example, but someone who uses cocaine regularly may classify it as a “need” because of their psychological connection to the substance.

Once the needs are separated from the wants, the expectancy value theory shows that the individual will pursue their gratifications based on a value proposition that reflects the desired goal. Only the needs that will bring the best levels of success will be pursued, which will then lead an individual toward media consumption.

Why Is Media Consumption an Integral Part of the Theory?

Think about how you decide what products to purchase at the grocery store. Let’s say that you need to purchase bread. There are 27 different brands and types that are available on the store shelf. How do you decide which is a want and which is the “need” that best meets your goal?

  • If cost is your primary motivating factor, you will purchase the $0.88 loaf of bread that falls apart whenever you try to spread butter on it.
  • If health is your primary motivation, then you’ll purchase the $5.99 loaf of bread that is infused with vitamins, minerals, and Omega-3s.
  • If diet is your primary motivation, you might purchase a loaf of gluten-free bread, no matter what it might cost.

Every person has a unique value proposition that they are examining based on their personal beliefs and systems. If someone only has $2, they’ll purchase two loaves of the cheap bread because that can meet their hunger need effectively – even if their preference is for the $5.99 loaf of bread with fortification.

Why? Because of the specificity of the goal. Someone trying to meet a hunger need (cheap bread) will have a different behavior than someone trying to meet a nutritional need (fortified bread).

Media consumption in the expectancy value theory doesn’t refer to watching advertisements or clicking on banner ads while reading a blog. It has to do with what you perceive to be valuable and then acting upon it. Once you’ve acted, you’ve obtained your gratifications, and this will impact your belief structure.

You bought two loaves of bread for $2. It met your hunger needs and you felt satisfied in reaching you goal. The next time you get hungry and have a couple of bucks, there is a good chance that you’ll repeat the decision.

Let’s say that those two loaves of bread didn’t satisfy your hunger. That result will impact your belief system and change behaviors in the future. The next time you get hungry, you might spend $0.88 on a loaf of bread and then use the remainder to purchase a food product to go with the bread.

Through a process of examination, seeking, and consumption, we each create a belief system that leads us all towards goals that are personally important. It is that process which is the foundation of the expectancy value theory definition.

Ether theory, or aether theories, is an idea in physics which proposes the existence of a medium that can transmit gravitational or electromagnetic forces. “Aether” is the Greek word for air, a reference to either heavenly or fresh air, and it is believed that this medium must be a space-filling substance for the transmission to occur.

There are several different ether theories that have been proposed over the years, but most have fallen out of favor by modern physicists because of the development of rules regarding special relativity. Although modern physics does look at non-standard interpretations, the presence of the ether theory still holds relevance.

General Relativity and the Ether Theory

When Albert Einstein proposed the theory of general relativity, he referred to the gravitational field within the theory as “aether.” His terminology never gained real support, but the concept still remains. “This aether,” Einstein wrote, “may not be thought of as endowed with the quality characteristic of ponderable media, as consisting of parts which may be tracked through time.”

“The idea of motion may not be applied to it.” This means the aether could potentially stand alone, outside of the rules of relativity that Einstein proposed.

The reasoning behind Einstein’s thinking is known really only to him, but may be based on the ideas of luminiferous aether and mechanical gravitational aether.

It was Isaac Newton who suggested the idea that an aether could exist in 1718. He wrote that although spaces may have seemed empty, they could be filled with compact and dense bodies that could not be distinguished through mere perception. If that was the case on our planet, then what could the aether be like when considering celestial bodies or the vastness of the universe?

Over the next century, several solutions that attempting to explain the propagation of light or the movement of gravity were all proposed as various ether theories. For light to exist, ether theory suggests that a medium must exist. The goal of the ether theories was to describe that medium.

Lorentz and Fitzgerald offered a framework that could explain motion of absolute aether while being undetectable. In 1905, when the special theory of relativity was introduced by Einstein, the mathematics of both ideas were the same. This event led to the eventual dismissal by most physicists of luminiferous aether and would be the final nail in the coffin for ideas of mechanical gravitational aether.

How a Quantum Vacuum Fits into Ether Theory

In the world of quantum mechanics, spacetime is non-empty unless being evaluated at an extremely small scale. Particle pairs can appear and disappear quickly, which creates the foundation of a particulate ether theory being possible.

The theory of relativity does not suggest or attempt to eliminate the idea that matter pervades the universe. It only suggests that matter in our universe is symmetrical in its construction. When considering the vacuum of space, therefore, an interesting question persists: is there a medium within the vacuum of space that is similar in structure to the orange juice that sits in your glass?

As experiments using particle acceleration have discovered in recent years, the vacuum of space is like looking through a transparent piece of glass. You may not see that it is there, but if you walk into it, you’ll have evidence of its existence. And, if you hit a piece of glass hard enough, it will either splinter, shatter, or break in some other way.

That means, for all practical purposes, the airless void of space is a relativistic ether. It may not be called that because of the negative connotation that science has applied to this term, but that does not exclude it from being potentially correct.

What We Can Take from the Ether Theory

Ether theory is an attempt to explain how forces move in the universe. There must be some level of substance to the empty spaces that we encounter for electromagnetic and gravitational forces to work. We can see gravity working in something as basic as the orbit of our planet around the sun or a satellite around the Earth, which means there must be some level of substance that fills the void.

As we learn more about what this substance may be, whether it ends up being dark matter or some exotic particle we’ve never encountered before, we will also know more about the basic structures of the universe and how that relates to human life. Hidden or in plain sight and just not recognizable with current technologies, with that kind of knowledge, the future’s potential is virtually unlimited.

What is the last pleasant memory you can recall right now?

For many people, memories are subjective. As time goes by, people tend to remember the best aspects of what happened to them and cast aside the worst aspects of life. We remember what we want to remember. The Elizabeth Loftus theory suggests that this process can be taken a step further.

What if a traumatic event could be suggested to a person while undergoing therapy and the individual could then think that this was a valid memory that they had repressed?

Memory and the Misinformation Effect

Beginning in 1973, Loftus began examining eyewitness testimony and how memory worked in real-world situations. One of her first studies involved how memory could be altered based on the questions that are being asked of an individual. Her idea was this: memories are not necessarily an accurate representation of a specific event, but a combination of a person’s past experiences, available information, and other potential manipulations.

Loftus discovered that the memories of an eyewitness could be altered after exposing that person to information that was incorrect about the event. This indicated to her that memory is open to suggestive behaviors and is highly malleable.

Over the next two decades, Loftus would apply her theories of misinformation in the legal realm, providing testimony in over 250 cases regarding the information she discovered.

It created an ongoing debate between therapists who believed that these memories should be treated as real and psychologists who tended to say that the memories being offered were false.

The misinformation effect was very real to those who felt like they had a legitimate memory and were seeking justice because of it. Many people up through 1990 felt like Loftus’ testimony had freed their abusers.

Instead of repression and recovery, Loftus looked toward how other components of memory could help to explain why certain events could not be recalled. Situations could result in dissociative amnesia, though for most people, events are not recalled because of what could be described as “motivated forgetting.”

Think back to something embarrassing that happened to you during high school. When was the last time you actually thought about that event in detail? There’s a good chance you don’t think about that event every day, especially if it happened more than 10 years ago. Yet, when prompted to think about it, you can recall the details with precision.

People don’t want to dwell on negative memories. We can remember them if asked about them, but stay away from them to focus on the positive memories instead.

That led Loftus to eventually ask an important question: what could happen if those negative memories could be manipulated in such a way that a completely false narrative could take their place?

Loftus and the Memory Wars of the 1990s

Beginning in the 1990s, Loftus began to shift the focus of her work. Instead of dealing with theories of misinformation, she began to look at the possibility of being able to plant a specific false memory for an entire event that never took place. She began to examine this potential theory because of a legal case she’d been asked to provide expert testimony.

In 1990, a man named George Franklin was accused of murder. The evidence against him came from his daughter, who claimed that he had murdered her childhood friend 20 years before. Franklin’s daughter suggested that she had repressed the memory of him committing such an act and her statements eventually led to her father’s conviction.

Recovered memories of trauma were increasingly common in the 1990s, so Loftus began probing the claims to see if they could be false memories created by suggestive techniques. Some therapist and even a few self-help books during that era promoted methods that lent to the possibility of false memories being created.

This led to the development of what became known as the “lost in the mall” technique. Loftus would work with subjects to determine if a false memory could be implanted for an event that did not take place. Once that memory was implanted, the goal of the research was to have the memory become a “real world” event that seemed real, but never was.

In her initial study, Loftus found that 1 out of every 4 of her subjects came to develop a memory about them being lost in a mall as a child. Through variations of this technique and extensions of it, Loftus found that about 1 in 3 people could become convinced that they experienced things in their childhood that never occurred.

Those false memories could even be highly traumatic events or circumstances that were impossible.

The goal of her theory was simple: to counter the practice of the courts at the time of relying on eyewitness testimony as credible evidence on its own. It would lead to stricter legal standards that allowed for recovered memories to be used as evidence, with some states in the US no longer even allowing such a prosecution to occur.

The Elizabeth Loftus Theory and the Jane Doe Case

In 1997, David Corwin and Erna Olafson published a case study that purported to show an example of a real-world example of an accurate repressed memory that had been recovered. Loftus was skeptical of the claims made in the case study and decided to investigate the circumstances.

They interviewed individuals connected to the Jane Doe in the case, uncovered information that had been excluded from the case study, and came to the conclusion that the memories of abuse being offered were false.

During the investigation, the Jane Doe in the case contacted the university where Loftus was working and claimed that Loftus was committing a breach of privacy. For 21 months, the university confiscated the files regarding the investigation, but allowed her to publish her findings in 2002.

After the findings were published, the Jane Doe in the case study sued Loftus and the university for 21 different counts and causes. Only 1 count was upheld as valid and was eventually settled for $7,500. Jane Doe was ordered to pay legal fees for all defendants in the case to a total of more than $450,000.

Because of the sensitivity of the memories that were “recovered,” often involving physical or sexual abuse, Loftus has found herself the focus of personal animosity and criticism over the years. From online threats to claims that she was engaging in Satanic ritual abuse to cover up previous crimes, the Elizabeth Loftus theory regarding misinformation has certainly had an impact on how people perceive memory.

Memory can be a funny thing. We might not think about something that happened for decades, but then a sight, smell, or circumstance can trigger the memory to fire and then that’s all we can think about. By recognizing this process, the Elizabeth Loftus theory helps to protect us from becoming victimized by false memories.

Einstein’s theory of relativity incorporates two components: special relativity and general relativity.

Special relativity involves how the basic particles of the universe interact with one another. It describes what happens in the physical world, with the exception of gravity.

That’s where general relativity comes to help. It is an explanation of how gravitation laws relate to the other forces that occur in nature.

All realms are included in this theory, including cosmology, astrophysics, and astronomy.

Einstein’s Special Relativity Simplified

The theory of special relativity gives structure to the concept of time. It is based on two ideas that seem to be at odds with one another.
The first is that the laws of physics are the same for every observer who is in relative motion to one another. The second is that the speed of light, when placed in a vacuum environment, is the same for all observers, no matter what their relative motion may be or where the source of light originated.

Imagine that you’re sitting in a dark theater. You are on one side of it and someone else is on the other side. You’re sitting further away from the stage. The light then moves up and down, crossing back and forth across the stage.

Both you and the other person watching will see the light movement. Your perspective is different, but the laws regarding that movement remain the same.

Now if that theater were in outer space, the time it took for the light to reach you would be slightly longer than the other person, but the speed at which it reached both of you would be the same.

That is how distance is calculated spatially. If a star is 4 light years away, the total distance is the amount of time it takes light to travel the distance from its source to our planet.

Einstein’s General Relativity Simplified

The theory of general relativity describes how gravity affects the universe. When we take a walk outside, it is the gravity of the planet which keeps us from floating off into the sky. The surface of the Earth rotates at a speed that is roughly 1,000 miles per hour at the equator, but because of gravity, we do not sense this motion.

At the same time, our planet orbits the sun at 67,000 miles per hour. We don’t feel that movement either. Because of gravity, we feel like we are still.

Yet, when there is no gravity present, the tendency of free fall is to move downward when no force is exerted on the inertial motion. That means gravity fields are present because of how the various physical objects in the universe interact with one another.

Because of this interaction that gravity has on physical objects, changes occur to the elemental structures of the universe. A clock, if it were placed into a gravity well, would run slower than a clock outside of that gravity well.

Rays of light can be bent when there is a gravitational field present. If a large enough gravitational mass were to rotate, it could drag the structures of space and time from the theory of special relativity with them.

What Does This Mean for the Universe?

The theory of relativity lets us see how gravity interacts with what we perceive to be the physical world. When there are changes to gravity, the structure of time can be altered. This effect has been studied in astronauts as they age slower. It’s also why if you wear a watch on your ankle, it will be slower than one on your wrist eventually.

The effects, however, are small compared to the larger effects of the universe. If you live in a basement, your aging would only be a fraction of a second slower than those on a mountain.

On a larger scale, what it means is that the universe is expanding faster than light can travel at its outer components. That means there are secrets waiting there in the vastness waiting to be discovered because the speed of light, which is a fixed rate, hasn’t been able to fully penetrate the expansive area.

To summarize: relativity involves laws of physics that do not change, even if there is constant movement. Special relativity involves the physical components, while general relativity involves gravity.

When put together, we discover that space and time are unified. Although your observations may be different than someone else, both observations are valid, even when made in real-time.

How does the universe exist for each one of us? Is it a solely physical concept, where our bodies interact with other elementary elements to create an existence? Or is there a mental component to the universe as well, distinctive from the physical world, but coexisting with it to create a unique living existence.

The Dual Aspect Theory proposes that the mind and the body are two different entities that are radically different. The mind and the body are effectively the same substance, but still different. Two individual parts, but one whole.

Can Life Be Like a Rope?

Imagine that you have a rope in your hands. Let’s say there are three strands that have been woven together. That weaving process has created one rope. It can be used for many different purposes.

Now let’s say you begin to take that rope apart. You will end up having three individual strands in your hands. Each can act as its own individual rope. Those strands are not as strong individually as they are together, but they still provide function.

This is the concept of the Dual Aspect Theory. The mind is one strand and the body is another strand. When woven together, they create a singular existence. Both operate independently of one another, but work together to create a stronger, unified outcome. The mind could be pulled from the body or the body from the mind, but each becomes weaker when that action is taken.

Is There Evidence of the Dual Aspect Theory?

The mind-body problem has plagued philosophers for several centuries. In the past, theories often involved religious intrusion to create cohesion between it and the secular world. For that reason, an effort to show that humanity could reflect the Trinitarian belief structure in a similar way with a connection between the mind and body was formulated.

Those who preferred monism, or a direct mind-body connection, often attempted to exclude religious thought from their theory and that create an equal, but opposite effect.

Thanks to modern medical science, however, we can see that there is evidence both for and against the Dual Aspect Theory. We have seen individuals who exist in a vegetative state, their bodies alive and cared for, but no mental awareness of their current situation. We have also seen individuals who are highly active mentally, but become “body locked.”

Locked-In Syndrome is a condition where an individual is fully aware and has their full mental capacity, but cannot communicate verbally or move because of a nearly complete paralysis of all virtually all voluntary muscles. With this condition, only vertical eye movements and blinking tend to occur. Complete locked-in states where the eyes are also paralyzed are possible too.

What Does This Mean for the Human Brain?

When you hear about someone having a “higher state” of thought, that expression has more truth to it than many may know. When an individual is in a vegetative state that is persistent, the upper portion of the mind is damaged, while the lower portion is spared.

For those who become locked-in, the opposite occurs.

This creates a dual state of existence that can be viewed as a whole or individually. The body experiences one facet of life, while the mind experiences a different facet. They can be combined or kept separate. Sometimes that separation is involuntary, but under the Dual Aspect Theory, we could also consciously choose to experience only one or the other.

It is why the expression “mind over matter” has come about. If a person sets their mind to something, the result can be transcendent over the physical world. An individual can also give in to the stimulation their physical body is giving them, allowing the mind to take a back seat to the physical cravings that are being experienced.

It goes beyond willpower or a decision to ignore the pain that is being experienced. It is a relationship that is distinct, but inseparable unless there is an event that causes the separation. You must make a choice to unravel the rope to create distinct parts. For the mind-body connection, it remains together unless there is a choice or event that causes it to become separated as well.

Is there an order to the universe that is also woven into our thought processes? Are we just a small part of an infinite structure? Or are we just a physical representation of natural development and the mental aspect of our existence is an extension of that process? Those are the questions that must be answered.

Dramatism Theory was developed by Kenneth Burke as a way to analyze human relationships through interpretive studies. It is a theory that compares life to a drama. This provides a direct route from human motivation to human relationships. It is a strategy that intends to help others view life, not live it, and be able to compare each social unit or activity as one of the five elements of a drama.

How do we explain human action? Motivations behind human activities? The Dramatism Theory uses a five-pointed star to help separate the key elements that exist within this idea.

What Are the 5 Points of Dramatism Theory?

Burke uses a parallel extension of the six questions that should be asked in an interview: who, what, where, when, and how. This brought him to the 5 elements that should be in every drama: an act, a scene, an agent, an agency, and the purpose.

This corresponds with the decisions that are made in life that correspond to motivation and relationships.

  • The Act: This describes what was done. It is the motivation behind the decisions that are being made.
  • The Scene: This describes where the event occurs. It has an influence on the decision that was made.
  • The Agent: This is a description of the decision-maker.
  • The Agency: This is a detailed description of the methodology that was used to implement the decision that was made. Various methods can be incorporated into this point, including apologetics, messaging, or storytelling.
  • The Purpose: Why did the decision need to be made in the first place?

This leads to the three key concepts that are associated with dramatism theory.

  1. Dramatistic Pentad. This is the instrument that is used to create the set of principles, either relational or functional, to understand the motive behind the decisions that are made. It incorporates the 5 points of dramatism and provides a complete statement behind each element of the decision0-making process.
  2. Identification. When two people overlap with the substance of what is being offered, this concept is used to distinguish them. Because there is overlap in every human relationship, Burke argues that identifaction is impossible to ignore. It offers rhetoric, can be falsified, and be reflective of any ambiguities that are present within the substance that is being offered.
  3. Guilt. The root of all rhetoric lies in guilt. Burke sees human activity as a method to purge oneself of guilt, which often occurs through public speaking. Other emotions are associated into this concept, such as shame, anxiety, or disgust.

There is a hierarchy associated with these points and concepts through the power that is available within each relationship. The dramatic process must have structure for it to reflect the human condition. The structure of each relationship helps to determine the social awareness of the individual and how they will react in any given situation.

Let’s take a husband and wife for example. The husband kisses his wife goodbye as he heads out the door for work. Does he kiss the next woman he meets as he gets on the subway? Not likely, since the structure of the relationship is different. Through communication, we each make decisions.

The Three Aspects of Communication in Dramatism Theory

Burke offers three types of communication that are used to form social hierarchies within society.

The first is superiority. This communication occurs when one individual feels that they have a moral or ethical control over a specific situation. They act in confidence because they “know” they are right. What other people think or feel doesn’t matter to them.

The second is inferiority. This communication occurs when there is a concession to another that they are, in fact, superior in some way. It is a social relationship that communicates, “Go ahead and lead. I’ll follow.”

The third is equality. It may occur when there are differences or similarities in opinion. It can occur between different socioeconomic classes. It occurs when both may feel superior or both may feel inferior. It is a concept that we often hear expressed as, “I have a lot of respect for this person.”

In Dramatism Theory, many equate “respect” to “equality.”

Some people may choose to reject the place they seem themselves in the social order. Others may feel like they are being purposely victimized so they cannot “get ahead.” Some scapegoating can be fractional, others can be general, with the purpose to get others to feel sorry for them.

Dramatism Theory does an excellent job of explaining the motivation behind decisions and then actions which follow. Just like a script, when the parts are all there, the outcome can become predictable.