What’s in a name?

C.J. Peek / Published 2013 / Presentation

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Presenter C.J. Peek, Ph.D.
Date October 19, 2013
Abstract "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."—Juliet Capulet, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

That may be both true and practical in context of personal knowledge such as this. But when the challenge is to build up a new field of research and practice across many implementers and scientists over geography and over time, it will not do to have only locally-generated terminology, as in, “We know what we mean by that here.”

Juliet loved the person called Montague, but felt that the name was a meaningless convention in the context of her love. But in the world of science and practice, conventional names (lexicons) are essential to distilling generalizable knowledge or lessons learned from natural experiments going on across the country. With everything going by different names (even if locally ‘smelling as sweet’) there is no way to aggregate and study collective experience and build a field out of it. Building a field is what gives people a shot at not having to re-invent the wheel in their own local settings.

The presentation: First, the creation of consensus lexicons through paradigm case formulation and parametric analysis as outlined in Descriptive Psychology. Second, the application of lexicons and their derivatives to the practical questions of multiple stakeholders. Third, the special importance of lexicons in research essential to rapid healthcare transformation. Finally, how to recognize a situation that requires a definitional framework to continue productive conversation—and get started creating one.
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