Showcasing Dreams, Desires, Vision, Whimsy, Illusion, and Anxious Uncertainty: Understanding Aspects of Perseverance and Determination Towards Doctoral Capstone Successes

Showcasing Dreams, Desires, Vision, Whimsy, Illusion, and Anxious Uncertainty: Understanding Aspects of Perseverance and Determination Towards Doctoral Capstone Successes

Caroline M. Crawford (University of Houston – Clear Lake, USA) and Noran L. Moffett (Fayetteville State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9707-0.ch010

Abstract

Personalized journeys that reflect the development of deep-seated perseverance and determination characteristics evolve from stresses and traumatic events that may be short-term or longer-term from past experiences, yet still can impact the doctoral candidate's progression through the dissertation journey. A sensitivity towards one's own psychological balance during highly stressful and destabilized beliefs around one's self-efficacy are impactful during the dissertation, potentially subverting and undermining a doctoral candidate's ability to maintain a balanced psychological approach towards anxiety-riddled and stress-inducing cognitive dissonance and engagement. Discussions around the ability to support doctoral candidates during the dissertation journey are highlighted, including perseverance and determination characteristic strengths, weaknesses, and areas of potential growth areas of engaged development, upon the doctoral candidate's personality.
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Background

Yet, what is perseverance and determination? The basic concept of perseverance and determination is a personality characteristic of people, wherein one can derive a level of psychological pleasure from different forms of psychological receipt of pain. By the term pain, one suggests the masochist received a level of pleasure from the self-infliction or infliction from others of some form of mistreatment by others; this mistreatment may suggest a level of humiliation, suffering psychological-emotional pain or physical pain on some level of personalized understanding. As suggested by Solomon’s (1980) work, “… endorphins are secreted in response to certain environmental stresses and play a role in the opponent process” (Van der Kolk, 1989, p. 10). Meaning, when a person who has become psychologically normalized to the introduction of stressful situations, a learned response associated with endorphin release within the physiological realm actually shifts the stress, the pain, into an association with endorphin-induced pleasure. The connection between pleasure and pain is then more clearly realized within a person’s physio-psychological response to traumatic environmental factors, resulting in levels of perseverance and determination tendency that derives pleasure from environmental or socio-cultural levels of stress or of pain. This style of impulse urge towards the repetition of trauma or traumatic events, may also result in an intriguing understanding around the unconscious connection between pleasure and pain:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cognitive Dissonance: This is considered to be the state of uncomfortableness associated with cognitive efforts. Specifically a mental style of stressful discomfort as one’s mental models of understanding and knowledge connections, or knowledge framework, are brought under scrutiny when confronted with contradictory or novel information that must be processed.

Dissertation: A dissertation is one doctoral capstone option, consisting of the doctoral candidate student pulling together a faculty-embedded doctoral committee who oversees the doctoral student’s research study. There are normally a minimum of two major checkpoints during a dissertation process, initially framing a research prospectus to discuss with the faculty members whom the student desires to join the dissertation committee so as to attain the requisite number of faculty members on the student’s dissertation committee, followed by the development of a dissertation proposal and major checkpoint deemed the dissertation proposal defense, and finally the concluding major checkpoint deemed the completed research study’s dissertation final defense. The dissertation committee evaluates the doctoral student’s work within a public venue, questions the student, and decides whether the student passes or fails the dissertation proposal defense; likewise, the dissertation committee again converges after the student successfully completes the research study and writes up the findings, discussion and conclusion sections of the manuscript, to again evaluate the doctoral student’s work within a public venue, questions the student, and decides whether the student passes or fails the dissertation final defense.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to sense another person’s emotions and understand the mental and emotional state of the other person as one’s emotional state, opinions and beliefs, and life outlooks may be understood as reflected upon. Simply, it’s the ability of one person to understand the broad emotional experiences and conditions of another person.

Doctoral Capstone: Within the United States of America style of programmatic design at the doctoral level of attainment, the doctoral capstone is the final step towards achieving success within one’s doctoral studies and earning the doctoral degree. In traditional doctoral programs of study, the student must complete doctoral coursework, achieve support for their candidacy paper that represents their ability to write at an appropriate level of scholarly engagement, and successfully pass their comprehensive examination in order to achieve doctoral candidacy. Upon reaching the attainment of doctoral candidacy, the doctoral candidate’s final achievement is the doctoral capstone. The capstone is varied, including either a dissertation, a doctoral project study, defending a designated number of authored works that have been successfully published in quality double-blind peer-reviewed professional journals, or other capstone options that may be deemed appropriate by the university’s faculty and associated accrediting body.

Cognition: This is the process associated with mental efforts, focused upon understanding information and achieving a successful interpretation of the arousal or evocation of new information as understood within prior information.

Self-Efficacy: This is the ability of a person to believe in their own ability to succeed at a task, a journey or an experience. The belief of a person, that s/he is capable of completing a charge, reaching a desired outcome or achieving an objective. This sense of confidence is an optimistic belief in one’s own ability to attain satisfactory results. This is impacted by one’s developed self-image and self-worth, normally related to one’s developing sense of achievement associated with a specific experience, subject matter attainment, or other type of emotional, relational or cognitive experience.

Characteristics of Perseverance and Determination: Personality traits that may be aligned with a perseverance and determination personality include the ability to self-sacrifice, deal with levels of chronic suffering and angst, a sense of drawing attention towards a sense of exhibitionism, a sense of compulsion towards accepting the uncomfortableness such as differentiated levels of torture while at the same time looking towards the relief of stresses and strains. Further, an intriguing dichotomy is the need to denigrate the self through self-defeating feelings of inferiority associated with one’s ability to successfully achieve the sought-after prize (in this discussion, being the attainment of the doctoral degree). Anxiety is an inherent realization throughout experiences. As a summary, the perseverance and determination characteristics evolve towards the derivation of pleasure-inducing responses through painful experiences and imposed or perpetrated inflictions upon oneself.

Perseverance and Determination: The personality traits associated with attaining and experiencing pleasure from the attainment of one’s own painful experiences, humiliation, degradation and infliction upon one’s dignity.

Doctoral Project Study: A doctoral project study is one doctoral capstone option, consisting of the doctoral candidate pulling together a faculty-embedded doctoral committee who oversees the doctoral student’s project study, specifically consisting of a research study that guides the design and development of a project outcome. There are normally a minimum of two major checkpoints during a doctoral project study process, initially framing a research prospectus to discuss with the faculty members whom the student desires to join the doctoral study committee, followed by the development of a project study proposal and major checkpoint deemed the project study proposal defense. Finally, after the student completes the study and decides along with the guidance of the committee membership the most appropriate project study outcome as based upon the findings, the concluding major checkpoint deemed to complete the project study is the project study final defense during which the dissertation committee evaluates the doctoral student’s work within a public venue, questions the student, and decides whether the student passes or fails the project study defense.

Doctoral Candidate: A doctoral candidate is a student enrolled in a doctoral program of study, who has achieved successful completion of all associated coursework, successfully completed the requisite candidacy paper and comprehensive examination, and has the ability to progress forward towards the doctoral capstone experience.

Academy: The academy is a style of description that encompasses the whole of higher education’s learned community. The scholarship, teaching and professional service associated with the academy is towards the culture’s greater good, with innovativeness, higher thoughts and thoughtful discussions being centrist to the mission and values within the academy.

Self-Regulation: Self-regulation is the ability of a person to control and guide one’s own progression forward, towards achieving a specified task. This task may be as simple as a step-by-step process towards tying one’s shoelace or as complex and uncertainly speculative and ambiguous as successfully journeying through a doctoral capstone experience. The ability to self-regulate one’s own behaviors and emotions are necessary so as to achieve success and attain the goal, specifically related to this discussion as successfully completing the doctoral capstone and attaining one’s doctoral degree.

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