• Internal Code :
  • Subject Code : SNPG960
  • University : University of Wollongong
  • Subject Name : Nursing

Understanding the Casual Relationship

image shows Entity Relationship Diagram


1. Smith AD. The Concept of Social Change (Routledge Revivals): A Critique of the Functionalist Theory of Social Change. Routledge; 2010 Jan 14.

2. Dunn L. Theories of learning. Learning and teaching briefing papers series. 2002 Jun 27;27.

3. Nelson L, Cushion CJ, Potrac P, Groom R. Carl Rogers, learning and educational practice: Critical considerations and applications in sports coaching. Sport, Education and Society. 2014 Jul 4;19(5):513-31.

4. Isajiw WW. Causation and functionalism in sociology. Routledge; 2013 Oct 15.

5. Kelly DH. Comparative education: Challenge and response. InInternational Feminist Perspectives on Educational Reform 2017 May 18 (pp. 89-111). Routledge.

6. Kirk D. Defining physical education (Routledge revivals): The social construction of a school subject in postwar Britain. Routledge; 2012 Nov 12.

7. Sharp R, Green A, Lewis J. Education and social control: A study in progressive primary education. Routledge; 2017 Apr 28.

8. Sever M. A critical look at the theories of sociology of education. Journal of Human Sciences. 2012 Mar 29;9(1):671-50.

9. Woods P, Hammersley M, editors. School experience: Explorations in the sociology of education. Routledge; 2017 Apr 28.

10. Johnson MW. Learning Design, Social Ontology and Unintended Functionalism in Education Projects. Journal of Interactive Media in Education. 2016;(1).

Personal Reflection

Functionalism implicates the mental phenomenon of a person whereby environmental inputs leads to certain behavioural outcomes (Smith, 2010). Functionalism specifically relates how a person may behave to a certain set of psychological beliefs and perseverance. Now, the thoughts and perseverance of the person is based on the environmental conditions. A person will perceive different conditions in different ways and henceforth, the behaviours differ in each case. There are three steps by which a person behaves (Kirk, 2012). The first step is the input condition where a person will have a minimal state of behaviour. In the second step, the behaviour from one conditional input may interact with other mental state of the same person. Lastly, the environmental conditions of a person may give rise to multiple mental states and each of the state may give rise of complex behaviour. Thus, functionalism not only helps in assessing the mood and mental state but also the functions of the mind (Johnson, 2016).

In this regard a concept map was made. The concept map indicates that functionalism is a part of structuralism socialism which relates to the mental state of a person. The sub-concepts includes,

  1. Functionalism was incepted from the structuralism theory

  2. It talks about the mental and psychological state of a person

  3. It involves understanding the body and mind relationship

  4. Mental consciousness leads to the behaviour and perseverance of a person

  5. Every person has independent role in synchronous function that causes a behavioural outcome.

The concept map has been linked to the facilitation model of learning by Carl Rogers (Dunn, 2002). In this concept the teacher is responsible for creating an environment that is comfortable and effective for the students to learn. Linking this to the functionalism theory, it is the duty of a medical personnel to create an environment where a person can positively evaluate their own psychological behaviour and learn to think not just based on the conditions but to create a synchronous action.

Using the functionalism aspect, I believe that it has a very important usage in medical sciences and healthcare to understand the relationship between mind and bodily language of a person. It is very important to understand how a person perceives every condition or a situation and how they behave or react to the same. I believe that functionalism is more a causal theory, where in medical science the situation of a person leads to a psychological state where a person may perceive both positive and negative (Johnson, 2016). Ultimately, the perceived thought will lead the person to behave or act in positive or negative manner.

If we are able to build a synchronous relationship between the though and the perceived mind of the person, the outcome behaviour may be easily assessed (Isajiw, 2013). I also understand from functionalism that mental states and processes are functional kinds whereby the perceptions, beliefs, desires, and behaviours are all interconnected to each other. The consciousness of mind is the central player between a person’s situation and condition and the expected behaviour. Be it in medical science or in social life it is very important that the above mentioned aspects are in synchronous. Thus, functionalism may be linked to understanding the issues of software (mind) rather than the hardware (body).


Dunn, L., 2002. Theories of learning. Learning and teaching briefing papers series, 27.

Isajiw, W.W., 2013. Causation and functionalism in sociology. Routledge.

Kirk, D., 2012. Defining physical education (Routledge revivals): The social construction of a school subject in postwar Britain. Routledge.

Johnson, M.W., 2016. Learning Design, Social Ontology and Unintended Functionalism in Education Projects. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2016(1).

Smith, A.D., 2010. The Concept of Social Change (Routledge Revivals): A Critique of the Functionalist Theory of Social Change. Routledge.

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