Living Elizabeth Barrett’s Power Theory with ChatGPT

Contributors Dorothy Larkin, PhD, RN,
and Christopher Moorhead, BA

On May 1, 2023 I asked my new technical consultant son in law, Christopher Moorhead, to engage with me in a ChatGPT experiment with hypothetical students. GPT stands for Generative Pre-Training and has been in development for five years now by OpenAI. As a praxis informed faculty consultant, I asked ChatGPT sample questions I have asked my former students. You can access the verbatim log generated by ChatGPT-3.5 here. Please note that there are many subtle and blatant mistakes in the ChatGPT-3.5 responses. For example, I have been credited as author of several articles I did not write and I certainly did not develop Elizabeth Barrett’s power as knowing participation in change theory!

The verbatim ChatGPT-3.5 creation (shown here in its entirety) contains several significant conceptual and factual errors. It is important to recognize that the responses generated by ChatGPT will likely appear feasible to the uninformed reader. Faculty, students and practicing nurses are encouraged to become familiar with this quickly emerging AI technology and explore its creations for accuracy. GPT-4 (referred to as ChatGPT+) is the newest version that came out recently and is available for a monthly subscription for $20.

This is a profound opportunity for us to live Elizabeth Barrett’s power theory and knowingly participate in this change in our society. As evident in Barrett’s power theory, we will need to grow our awareness, our choices, our freedom to act intentionally and our involvement in creating desired change. Some ways faculty could help students is to assign them to work together in groups and determine facts vs fiction, check references for accuracy, and discover and correct ChatGPT’s hallucinations while evolving their critical thinking skills. Faculty and students could additionally explore how ChatGPT will impact patients’ knowledge about their health conditions.

This is only the beginning of AI’s influence on the education of nurses. As demonstrated in this brief ChatGPT experiment, factual and fictional information merged in the ChatGPT presentation. We will need to learn how to extract and integrate in nursing practice reliable and valid content. Faculty and nursology scholars could possibly help increase more accurate content obtained via ChatGPT by becoming content generators. ChatGPT can be destructive and dangerous in disseminating false information, yet it can also potentially offer great benefits to nurses and society. We will need to live Barrett’s power theory and actively and knowingly participate in this process of change in our world.

The following are valid references pertinent to this article and nursing praxis.

Barrett, E. A. M. (1998). A Rogerian practice methodology for health patterning. Nursing Science Quarterly, 11, 94 96. DOI: 10.1177/089431849801100402

Barrett, E. A. M. (2010). Power as knowing participation in change: What’s new and what’s next. Nursing Science Quarterly, 23, 47 54. DOI: 10.1177/0894318409353797

Larkin, D.M. (2007). Ericksonian Hypnotherapeutic Approaches in Chronic Care Support Groups: A Rogerian Exploration of Power and Self Defined Health Promoting Goals. Nursing Science Quarterly, 20, 357-369. DOI: 10.1177/0894318407306539

Phillips, J. R. (2000). Rogerian nursing science and research: A healing process for nursing. Nursing Science Quarterly, 13, 196 203. DOI 10.1177/089431840001300304

Phillips, J. R. (2019). Unitariology and the changing frontiers of the science of unitary human beings. Nursing Science Quarterly, 32, 207 213. DOI: 10.1177/0894318419845404

Rogers, M. E. (1992). Nursing science and the space age. Nursing Science Quarterly, 5, 27 34. DOI: 10.1177/089431849200500108

About the Authors

Dorothy Larkin

Dorothy Larkin PhD, RN is Professor Emerita of The College of New Rochelle School of Nursing. She has a private practice and consults in Holistic Nursing Praxis, faculty development, solution focused hypnotherapy and therapeutic sailing.

Christopher Moorhead


Christopher Moorhead is a technical consultant and works as a project director in a large technical company.

2 thoughts on “Living Elizabeth Barrett’s Power Theory with ChatGPT

  1. Your experience of errors mirrors my experience in a recent use of the BART AI platform…but because I was knowledgeable in the field, I recognized those errors, and still found the product useful. And I think this feature – subject to errors – will help resolve some teacher concerns about “copying” and “cribbing” and plagiarism. I also came to the conclusion that teachers using these AI platforms for learning assignments need to be much more thoughtful about the requests involved in the assignments…focusing much more on application of concepts to nursing situations, rather than simply asking students to “regurgitate” information. I love your blog post and plan to help disseminate it.

  2. Thank you Dorothy and Christopher for engaging in this exercise. A lot to consider and reflect upon as we enter a new era of technology.

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