Doctrine of specificity refers to a viewpoint shared by many social-learning theorists that holds that moral affect, moral reasoning, and moral behavior may depend on the situation one faces as much as or more than on an internalized set of moral principles.
In the psychology context, the doctrine of specificity refers to the principle that specific training produces specific adaptations. This means that when a person trains a particular skill or aspect of their physical or cognitive abilities, the resulting improvements are specific to that training and do not necessarily transfer to other areas. The doctrine of specificity is important for designing effective training programs and understanding how different types of training affect performance.
For example, in sports psychology, the doctrine of specificity suggests that athletes should train specific movements and muscle groups to improve their performance in a particular sport. If a basketball player wants to improve their shooting accuracy, they need to practice shooting drills that closely simulate game situations. Similarly, a runner who wants to improve their speed and endurance should focus on training specific energy systems and muscles used in running.
In cognitive psychology, the doctrine of specificity suggests that training in one area of cognitive ability may not transfer to other areas. For example, a person who improves their memory for faces may not necessarily see improvements in their memory for numbers or words. This principle is important for designing cognitive training programs that are specific to the target skills or abilities.