Theories are the start of social research. A researcher will start with a theory, then create a hypothesis based on the theory that can be tested (Babbie, 2015). This relationship, however, is not linear. The wheel of science, proposed by Walter Wallace in 1971, show theories as part of a circle. Theories lead to hypothesis’, which are tested by observations. Observations create empirical definitions which create more theories (Babbie, 2015). The cycle continues this way.
One theory in developmental psychology is attachment theory. Attachment theory was introduced by John Bowlby. It looks at how the initial attachment created by an infant and their primary caregiver impacts future development (McLeod, 2007). Parenting style used by the caregiver will directly influence the attachment created. Healthy attachments are most likely to occur with authoritative parents. Authoritative parents have high expectations for their children, but are warm and responsive (Darling 1999). This is contrary to authoritarian parents who have high expectations but are harsh with their children. In addition to these parenting styles are indulgent parents who have little structure or expectations for their children and show great warmth (Darling, 1999). The fourth category of parenting are uninvolved parents who show little warmth to their children but also hold low expectations (1999)
In order to accept this theory I need to believe that humans require a connection. I also need to accept that the initial connection made in infancy is important enough to impact all future relationships. This theory has always made sense to me because of how I view the world. Connection with others has always driven my choices and how I view myself.
Babbie, E. (2017). Basics of social research (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Darling, N. (1999). Parenting style and its correlates. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED427896
McLeod, S. (2007). Bowlby’s attachment theory. Simply Psychology. Retrieved from https://www.simplypsychology.org/bowlby.html
Theories play a critical role in a student’s research and helps clarify the reason behind psychological experiments/findings. Scientists posit theories which explains how something has happened, why the world is how it is (Laureate Education, 2009). From my past practices, a theory is a statement that would help someone find or understand the reasoning of a projected issue. Attempts to answer the ‘why’ questions in social science are theories (De Vaus, 2001).
Psychological theories explain why people behave the way that they do (Laureate Education, 2009). One psychological theory that I have learned while attending Walden University is called the Ecological Systems Theory by Urie Bronfenbrenner. This theory is consisted of four ecological constructs that shapes or influences a person’s development. The model suggests the interactions between the individual and their environment, categorized into various systems, shape their development over time (www.learningtheories.com, 2017).
The assumptions of the theory I chose aligns with my world view completely. I understand that there are other theories that can influence a person’s development. But, the ecological systems theory proves that the world around us can influence our development and decision making. For example, one of the tiers in the theory is called the microsystem. The microsystem consists of family or places that has the most interaction with the person. It encompasses an individual’s human relationships, interpersonal interactions and immediate surroundings (www.learningtheories.com,, 2017). According to my worldview, the things and people that are closest to you can really mold us into the people we are today.
Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Model of Development (Bronfenbrenner). (2017, May 15). Retrieved from https://www.learning-theories.com/bronfenbrenners-bioecological-model-bronfenbrenner.html
De Vaus, D.A. (2001). Research design in social research. Thousand Oaks, C.A: Sage.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2009f). Theory [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.