Systems Theory

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SYSTEMS THEORY Summary RSP 1 SYSTEMS THEORY Three Distinct but Closely Interrelated Theoretical Legacies  Information theory: focuses on the reduction of uncertainty which is achieved by the acquisition of information .  Cybernetics: a science of communication concerned with the transmission and control of information; it examines the communication and manipulation of information in various systems .  General Systems Theory (GST): interested in systems in general; family systems theory is an extension of this branch . Definitions and Terms  Three Uses/Definitions:  General Systems Theory (GST) is used to explain the behavior of a variety of complex, organized systems.  GST is also a process of theory construction which…show more content…
 Morphostatic feedback: refers to feedback which promotes maintenance of existing structure.  Positive: feedback used to promote change. 3  These types of feedback are also referred to as deviation-amplifying loops or variety loops.  Morphogenic feedback: refers to feedback which produces change in the system. Examples of Research Emerging from General Systems Theory  Marital and Family Interaction  Hess and Handel (1959): integrated GST and symbolic interactionism to examine the family as a system that socially constructs it’s reality. They suggested that there are five essential processes of family interaction.  Comparison of family interaction patterns between “normal” and “schizophrenic” families (Mishler & Waxler, 1968).  Family Dysfunction: individual patterns of dysfunction are attributed to family interaction patterns.  Alcoholism: Steinglass and Wolin have integrated a family development and systems approach, suggesting that alcoholism influences families in stages which accounts for patterns of alcoholism in families.  Family violence: systemic explanations are controversial. This research suggests that the failure to leave an abusive situation is a form of positive feedback. Examples of Research (cont.)  Marital and Family Taxonomies  Olson’s Circumplex model  Three dimensions create sixteen relationship types; the three dimensions are  Cohesion  Adaptability  Communication 
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