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The satisfaction of completing a task that is outside of one's perceived role or ability reduces stress, as in this case stress is associated with feelings of helplessness, and allows the individual to perceive of the ability to possibly do even more complicated tasks in the future. ("Women Becoming More Involved," 2000, p. 6) Things get more complicated if the learning needed is social. In this case one might learn by observing how others interact. We can mirror another's social behavior as an aspect of learning and therefore resolve social anxiety by doing. The result may be collaborative as it gives the individual a clue that they can achieve the social role expected of them even when they do not feel confident. Speaking with others about such perceived confidence may elicit a result of the other telling him or her that they were also initially afraid of the social situation, which helps the individual conceptualize that they are no longer isolated in their fears and therefore that they are capable of appearing confident even if they are not. (Metts & Manns, 1996, p. 361)
1. Instinct theories Pros universalizes humanity creating sense that risk-taking is an aspect of human instinct to meet a particular need, be it to eat (engaging in dangerous hunting or exposed gathering for food) or in a modern context to engage in risky work to obtain the pay needed to buy food. Cons, simplifies need to a list that is rather limited and basic, makes risk taking a desire to fulfill a concrete need even when in the modern world risk taking is often more abstract and fulfilling only abstract need that can rarely be attributed to concrete need. (Thomae, 1981, p. 263)
2. Need theory is most often associated with Maslow, who developed a hierarchy of needs including at its base physical needs and increasing to abstract needs the highest of which being self-actualization a culmination of many needs being met from lower to higher order. Pros: This theory demonstrates that there is an order to needs that is associated with risk taking, and that certain needs will be met with more risk taking than others and that one is unlikely to engage in risk taking for a higher order need if their lower order needs such as food, and shelter go unmet. Cons: This theory again does not account for risk taking behaviors that are not concretely associated with some need, if the need is unknown to the individual or is counterintuitive to development the risk, logically should not be taken and yet humans do frequently take risks that are not associated with human need, either high or low order and do not create self-actualization. (Fitzpatrick & Lagory, 2000, p. 43)
3. Learning theory is most often associated with Bandura, who developed one of the first concepts of social learning theory and specifically addressed risky environments and risk taking behaviors especially by adolescents. Pros: Social learning theory as it is associated with Bandura demonstrates a significant association with both positive and negative risk taking behaviors that are common to individuals. The value of risk taking for positive outcomes is expounded upon by Bandura as an aspect of human social learning that is essential to development of self and his or her place in society. (Rowe, 1994, p. 124) Cons: Social learning theory often attempted to explain risk taking behaviors as bad, associating risk with poor outcomes and especially cultural punishment, rather than as a positive motivation of learning. (Ketterlinus & Lamb, 1994, p. 205)
4. Humanistic theory is most often associated with Carl Rogers who postulated that human motivation can be adaptive or maladaptive with regard to risk taking and is an aspect of human centered motivation and social interaction. (Ashby, Rahotep & Martin, 2005, p. 55) Pros: Humanistic ideas regarding risk taking often place risk taking on a high plateau of reasonable responses to social situations that help influence the individual into a better social situation. Cons: humanistic theory makes risk taking and associated behavior a concrete black and white issue, if the risk elicits a bad outcome then it was a poorly developed plan while if it elicits human growth and progress it is motivationally positive. This concrete look at risk taking behavior is challenging as it makes action (and reaction) more important than cognition. (Ashby, Rahotep & Martin, 2005, p. 55)
5. Cognitive theory is most often associate with Piaget who postulates that humans develop in a step-by-step basis in a very predetermined manner conquering risk at each stage based on human development of the biological mind. Pros: Cognitive theory as it associates with risk is rather logical in that each stage of development is associated with a certain set of risks that are logical for the achievement of that cognitive goal. Cons: again the theory does not necessarily account for illogical steps in the stages of development or gaps in development when individual seems outwardly to be avoiding development through the avoidance of risk or learning or the inability of an individual to respond to risk choices given their particular level of cognitive development. (Flavell, 1963, p. 147)
5. Creativity is essential to human development and motivation and the ability to develop acquired learning into tangible plans, is needed for the development of creativity, be it abstract or concrete. As a researcher in any field problems are often associated with organization of learned skills for gaining the collective knowledge to as completely as possible understand a phenomena or situation and to be able to communicate it to others. Collecting research can be a difficult process as the ability of the individual to learn skills for finding the materials they need as it applies to the topic at hand can be hard to learn and are often associated with laborious trial and error processes. As a student researcher this task might be particularly difficult because it requires a massive amount of action, which can be futile without either fortuitous happenstance or new skill. The goal of a project is to develop a concise thesis regarding the social phenomena of tourism and infectious disease. It is general knowledge that tourism can spread diseases that were previously unknown to a region and that certain infectious diseases are more transmittable than others. As a researcher there are several ways to develop this thesis, looking first at general literature to find out what diseases are most likely to be transmitted through casual travel. From this information an individual will find that tuberculosis has a particularly high transmission rate through tourism as the etiology of the disease is that it is airborne and therefore can be transmitted through casual contact, especially in confined spaces. (Weinhold, 2004, p. 32) There are three options once this information is discovered. One can create a thesis surrounding the disease itself, its incidence, risk and transmitability. One could seek out a thesis that develops the regionalism of tuberculosis, creating in a sense a map of incidence transmission or third the individual can seek a thesis that focuses on the anecdotal social aspects of the disease. All three of these possible scenarios will require a different set of creative skills and applicable learning, some knew some already gained through past experience and interest. In the first a knowledge of disease etiology information seeking is needed, in the second a person's knowledge of finding information about specific regional disease incidence is important and in the final option the ability of the individual to find and interview individuals or find literature that speaks of the anecdotal experience of TB is needed. Any of the options are plausible and will develop a thesis and possibly a finished product of merit if interest and skills can come together and motivation to create a good thesis and a good finished product is fully explored.
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