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Definitions and Examples of Theory | HRFnd - Part 7
Definitions and Examples of Theory

Theories of aging often look at the behaviors of older adults and how they are influenced by personal choices, societal pressure, and changes to socioeconomic networks. What if the way people think, behave, and act as they age had a biological influence to it? This is essentially what Thomas Kirkwood proposed in 1977 when he published his disposable soma theory of aging.

Kirkwood worked as a statistician at the time he published this initial theory of aging. He has gone on to publish several additional works regarding the science of aging because of his research work at the University of Newcastle. His idea is this: that an organism only has a limited amount of energy and it must be divided between reproduction and non-reproductive aspects of the organism.

Does the Human Body Budget Its Energy?

Kirkwood proposes that a human body is required to budget the amount of energy that is available to it on a daily basis. Every action taken, either voluntarily or not, has an energy expenditure. The disposable soma theory breaks down the budget line for energy distribution into three separate categories: metabolism, reproduction, and repair/maintenance.

This budget must be in place because there is a finite food supply given to the human body each day. It requires a compromise to be made so that each system does not operate at its full potential. Over time, as people age, the energy requirements for each system evolve as well. The compromises made for the three major systems shift. More energy is budgeted for repair and maintenance and the metabolism, which means less energy is available for reproduction.

Although there is individual variability in how these energy transfers occur, the compromises operate in a similar curve for everyone. Over time, less energy is dedicated to reproduction. This means the evolutionary developmental and gestation rates must counter this energy transfer by putting biological pressure on people to have children before a certain time.

If you’ve ever heard of someone talking about their “ticking clock” to have children, that would be a description of Kirkwood’s disposable soma theory.

How Much Energy Goes to Reproduction?

As people age, there are several pressures placed on the reproductive system. This includes the amount of food that people eat. There is a direct correlation to a lower energy level in the reproductive system and lower food intake levels. The other budgeted energy levels are also reduced, but not necessarily to the same extent.

That is why the idea that reproductive energy is the first line-item that is compromised by the body is the foundation of the disposable soma theory. The repair and maintenance requirements of the body are lower with a lower caloric intake, but the energy budget remains proportionally the same. This is also true with the metabolism energy requirement. Digestion may not be necessary, but the body will pull energy from stored fat resources if needed to maintain proper functionality.

For this theory of aging, it explains why people can feel pressures at different times for having children. Based on their diet, lifestyle, and other factors that affect their health, more energy may be dedicated to maintenance and repair or metabolism. Since there is a finite budget of energy available, the body draws from reproductive energies to support the other needs.

Concerns with the Disposable Soma Theory

The idea that processes begin to deteriorate as a person ages is widely accepted. Dead cells are replaced with live cells. Your fingernails continue to grow. Your hair continues to grow and it might even start growing in places you don’t like as you age – like inside your ear canal. Wounds heal. Infections are defeated.

In the disposable soma theory, an assumption must be made for it to work properly. Organisms would be able to reduce repair or maintenance in time, but the adverse effects of that reduction would not occur until later. This creates an energy trade-off that doesn’t account for the fact that some biological needs are short-term, but others are long-term.

Your hair grows a little bit every day. Your brain cells are replaced with much less frequency. This would mean that reducing long-term maintenance resources would create very little energy transfer. It has also been shown through direct observation that some animals and people still have an increased reproductive capacity as older adults, which conflicts with the idea that there is a tradeoff which occurs between aging and reproduction.

The disposable soma theory offers a way to explain aging through a scientific process. Further research and experimentation will be required to determine how accurate it happens to be.

How humans age has always been the subject of a great debate. In the disengagement theory of aging, it is proposed that as people age, they have a withdrawal from interactions and relationships to the various systems of which they belong. The theory states that this withdrawal is inevitable and mutual.

It is one of three major psychosocial theories describing the development process of individuals as they age. The other two theories are the Activity Theory of Aging and the Continuity Theory of Aging.

First proposed in 1961, the idea was that older adults should find it acceptable, even natural, to withdraw from society. It was published in the book Growing Old, authored by Elaine Cumming and William E. Henry. What it proposes places this theory at odds with the other two major psychosocial theories of aging.

Postulates of the Disengagement Theory of Aging

Cumming and Henry propose that there are 9 postulates that describe the process of disengagement within their theory of aging.

1. Everyone expects death.
This means that older adults accept that their abilities will be deteriorating over time As a result of this deterioration, they begin to lose contact with their societal networks.

2. Fewer contacts creates behavioral freedoms.
When individuals reduce their interactions with societal networks, there are fewer constraints placed on them to behave in a certain way. This freedom feels liberating to the individual, which encourages it to continue happening.

3. Men are different than women.
The disengagement theory of aging suggests that women play socioeconomic roles, while men play instrumental roles, and this causes disengagement differences.

4. The ego evolves as it ages.
Age-grading allows for younger individuals to take over from older individuals in knowledge- and skill-based positions in society. This means older adults step aside to the younger adults through the retirement process, which encourages disengagement. Instead of seeking power, the ego of an older evolves to seek out personal enjoyment.

5. Complete disengagement occurs when society is ready for it.
Only when society and older adults both approve of their disengagement will it occur. If society is not ready to let go of an individual, then they cannot completely disengage from their personal networks.

6. Disengagement can occur if people lose their roles.
The disengagement theory of aging suggests that a man’s central role is providing labor, while the woman’s role is family and marriage. If these roles are abandoned, then the disengagement process begins unless different roles can be assumed within their state.

7. Readiness equates to societal permission.
The readiness of disengagement occurs for older adults when they are aware of their scarcity of time, perceive their space decreasing, and loses “ego energy.” Society will then grant disengagement to these individuals because of the occupational system requirements in the society, differential death rates, or the nature of the family unit.

8. Relational rewards become more diverse.
By disengaging from society and the central roles that are played, people transform their relational rewards. Societal rewards become horizontal instead of vertical, causing people to engage more with their remaining interpersonal relationships for vertical, instead of horizontal, rewards.

9. This theory is independent of culture.
Yet the disengagement theory of aging, for it to properly work, but also take on a form that is bound by the individual’s culture.

Concerns with the Disengagement Theory of Aging

Since its publication in the 1960s, the disengagement theory of aging has been on the receiving end of strong concerns regarding its validity.

One of the primary criticisms of this theory is that it is unidirectional. There is no concept of individual circumstances within this theory except for the idea that society may not allow certain people to disengage while they age because they still have contributions to be made. Those contributions are focused on the central roles that people play in this theory.

Those central roles are clearly dated by time. Men are not always the household provider and women are not always the spouse that stays home. This theory assumes that each family unit is a two-parent household with a father and a mother. There is no consideration for the single parent in this structure. One could argue that in a same-gender family unit, one person could be the “father” and the other could be the “mother” to make this theory fit, but it would be a difficult argument to make because the central roles in this theory are clearly based on gender.

The disengagement theory of aging has proposed different ideas to what happens to people as they get older. It may be controversial to some, but it has also play a significant role in our current understanding of gerontology.

Founded in 2001, Theory of a Deadman is a rock band that is based out of Delta, British Columbia. Signed to Roadrunner Records and 604 Records, this Canadian group has so far had a total of eight Top 10 US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Track hits. This includes their two #1 hits on this chart, entitled “Lowlife” and “Bad Girlfriend.”

Members of the band are Dave Brenner, Dean Back, Tyler Connolly, and Joey Dandeneau.

How Theory of a Deadman Started

When Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger began 604 Records in 2001, Theory of a Deadman became the first act to sign with them. Their self-titled debut album was released in September 2002. The name of the band comes from one of the songs on their first album, which is about a man who was prepping for his own suicide.

After the song’s release, the track would be renamed “The Last Song” to avoid confusion with the band name.

The Gasoline Era of Theory of a Deadman

Gasoline was the second album released by the Canadian rockers, hitting shelves on March 29, 2005. The band then began a promotional tour with The Exies and Breaking Benjamin. The music from the album helped to propel the band into the mainstream, with songs from Gasoline appearing on video games and in World Wrestling Entertainment promotions.

During the era, Theory of a Deadman also toured with No Address and Shinedown.

“No Surprise” would be the top performing single off the album, peaking at #8 on the US main chart and at #24 on the US alternative chart. “Say Goodbye,” “Santa Monica,” and “Hello Lonely” would all be Top 30 hits for the band.

Scars and Souvenirs with Theory of a Deadman

In 2008, Dave Brenner and Theory of a Deadman released their third album called Scars and Souvenirs. Eight singles would eventually be released from this album, with guest vocalists including Robin Diaz and Christ Daughtry on some of the track.

This would be the album that would send the band toward even more fame as it had their first #1 Billboard hit. Throughout 2008, Brenner and the band would perform during the Grey Cup halftime show, be part of Crue Fest 2, and have them make an appearance at the Juno Awards that year.

In 53 weeks, Scars and Souvenirs would be their first album that would be certified gold for having sales reach 500,000 copies in the United States. It would also achieve a #1 peak position on the US Billboard hard rock albums chart and reach #2 on the Canadian albums chart.

Theory of a Deadman and The Truth Is Era

The fourth album from Dave Brenner and Theory of a Deadman was recorded in 2010 and released in the summer of 2011. Called The Truth Is… the highlight of this album was “Lowlife,” the first single released. It would become the band’s second #1 hit.

With the fourth album released, Theory of a Deadman would use the year to work with Alter Bridge as co-headliners of the Carnival of Madness Tour. They would also be asked to contribute a song to the Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon soundtrack that year. Two additional singles were released from the album, but did not perform as well as “Lowlife.”

The Truth Is… would be a #1 album for the band on the Billboard rock, alternative, and hard rock album charts. It would also be a #2 digital album and reach #8 on the Billboard 200.

Savages, Angel, and a Change for Theory of a Deadman

In 2014, the fifth album released from the band would be Savages. Although the singles from this album underperformed for Brenner and company compared to previous albums, their song “Panic Room” would be used by World Wrestling Entertainment for one of their pay-per-view promotions that year. “Angel” would obtain a peak chart position at #2 in the United States, while peaking at #33 for the Canadian rock charts.

Although the singles for Savages did not perform as well, the album would reach #1 on both the Alternative and Hard Rock album charts. It would peak at #8 in the Billboard 200.

The following year brought some changes to Dave Brenner and Theory of a Deadman. They released their first acoustic EP in 2015, called Angel. The EP contains a cover of a Tove Lo song and then four covers of their own work from past albums.

Dave Brenner and Theory of a Deadman have a sixth studio album planned for 2017 and their latest releases are covers of “Shape of My Heart” and “Cold Water.”

The counterpoint music theory is the relationship within a composition where voices are independent in contour and rhythm, but are still interdependent harmonically. It allows for 2+ musical lines that can stand on their own into a composition where they all work together as a whole.

There are two counterpoints to consider in this music theory: first-species and second-species.

What Is First-Species Counterpoint?

To begin a first-species counterpoint, it is necessary to first have a cantus firmus. This is an existing melody that will be used as the basis of the composition. A single new line is composed above or below the cantus firmus. This new line is the counterpoint. It is a new line that will contain one note for every note that is already in the existing melody.

That is why this type of counterpoint is often referred to as 1:1 counterpoint. The melody and the counterpoint will be whole notes.

Beginning a first-species counterpoint means focusing on the creation of a perfect consonance. To achieve this, the first note of a counterpoint is a P1 or P8 below the cantus firmus. If the counterpoint is above, then a P5 may be added in addition to the P1 or P8.

A P5 cannot be used on a lower counterpoint because the tonal context could be misheard by the listener, as the combination would create what is called a “dissonant fourth.”

Some may prefer to use a P12.

Then the final note of a first-species counterpoint should be a P1 or P8, whether it is above or below the melody. This creates a smoother ending that offers listeners some variety to the sound while still providing orientation to the goals of the composition. Different pitches may be considered between the major sixth or minor third in major or minor keys.

The counterpoint should have its own climax and not cross voice with the melody unless it is absolutely necessary. Any voice crossing reduces the independence of each musical line and thus stops the effectiveness of the counterpoint in those locations.

What Is Second-Species Counterpoint?

When creating a second-series counterpoint, the composer must move in half notes against the whole notes of the primary melody. If looking at a composition in 4/4 time, the cantus firmus and first-species counterpoint would be whole notes, while the second-species counterpoint would be half notes.

That is why this type of counterpoint is often referred to as 2:1 counterpoint.

When added to the composition, the listener can pick up the differentiation that the counterpoints create with strong and weak beats. At the same time, the composition begins to include passing tone dissonance. The goal with this counterpoint is to add textural variety, tension to the sound, but with a balance that does not seem harsh or grating to the listener.

A second-species counterpoint must have stepwise motion and a single climax. Because there are added notes to this counterpoint, there must be small steps contained within it so that it doesn’t interfere with the leaps that the melody will be making.

This type of counterpoint will also have secondary climaxes that are employed throughout the composition. That allows the composer to draw certain phrases or expressions within the composition to a logical conclusion. It helps to maintain the integrity of the lines, allowing for the shape of the cantus firmus and the counterpoints so the listener feels like they are listening to a consistent thought instead of multiple tangents.

Unlike with the first-species counterpoint, there are unisons allowed when beginning the second-species counterpoint. It can begin with two half notes in the first bar if desired, but a standard method of adding it is to incorporate a half-beat rest and then including a single half note in the first bar. Using the rest as the initial introduction allows for parsing and makes a composition easier to compose.

Downbeats are always consonant in this counterpoint.

Ending a second-species counterpoint can be either two half notes or a single whole note. This depends on how the composer wants to end the piece.

Why Counterpoint Music Theory is Important to Know

Whether you compose structured or improvisational pieces, music requires movement. The counterpoint music is one effective method that can be used to create the necessary movement by composing three lines in total that can stand independently, but work better together.

Listeners can pick out each expression, while at the same time listening to the entire piece, and this creates a memorable experience.