Proceedings of the Fifth Research Conference on Subjective Probability, Utility, and Decision Making, Darmstadt, 1–4 September, 1975
Author: H. Jungermann,G. De Zeeuw
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Category: Social Science
It is only just recently that people have the tools to judge how well they are doing when making decisions. These tools were conceptualized in the seventeenth century. Since then many people have worked to sharpen the concepts, and to explore how these can be applied further. The problems of decision-making and the theory developed correspondingly have drawn the interest of mathematicians, psychologists, statisticians, economists, philosophers, organizational experts, sociologists, not only for their general relevance, but also for a more intrinsic fascination. There are quite a few institutionalized activities to disseminate results and stimulate research in decision-making. For about a decade now a European organizational structure, centered mainly around the psy chological interest in decision-making. There have been conferences in Hamburg, Amsterdam, Uxbridge, Rome and Darmstadt. Conference papers have been partly published+. The organization has thus stabilized, and its re latively long history makes it interesting to see what kind of developments occurred, within the area of interest.
Alexander L. George,Andrew Bennett,Sean M. Lynn-Jones,Steven E. Miller
The papers contained in this volume are based on the contributions to an international, interdisciplinary Symposium entitled 'Analytical and Sociologi cal Action Theories' which took place in Berlin (West) on September 1-3, 1982. Each part comprises a main paper followed by two (in Part IV three) papers commenting on it. On the whole there is an equal division into philo sophical and sociological papers. In particular each main paper receives both inter- and innerdisciplinary comments. The Berlin Symposium was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Bonn) and, to a smaller extent, by the Freie UniversiHit Berlin; both grants are acknowledged gratefully. Berlin and Helsinki, May 1984 GOTTFRIED SEEBASS RAIMO TUOMELA vii GOTTFRIED SEEBASS INTRODUCTION I. It is a striking fact that the extended efforts of both sociologists and analytical philosophers to work out what is termed a 'theory of action' have taken little, if any, account of each other. Yet of the various reasons for this that come to mind none appears to be such as to foil any hopes for fruitful interdisciplinary exchange. Being concerned, apparently, with the same set of phenomena, viz. individual and social actions, the two theories can reasonably be expected to be partially overlapping as well as competitive and complementary. Accordingly each can eventually be shown by the other to need completion or revision. Whether or to what extent this is the case is subject to inquiry and discussion.
Linking Social and Economic Indicators through Tangible Behavior Settings
Author: K. Fox
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Category: Social Science
This book results from a research program on which I have spent most of my time since 1974. It addresses two of the major problems facing social system account ing: how to measure and account for nonmarket activities and how to combine social and economic indicators. The solution I propose is accounts based on behavior settings, a concept originated by Roger G. Barker more than thirty years ago. Behavior settings are the natural units of social activity into which people sort themselves to get on with the busi ness of daily life--grocery stores, school classes, reI i gious services, meetings, athletic events, and so on. The descriptive power of behavior settings has been established in surveys of complete communities in the United States and England, of high schools ranging in size from fewer than 100 to more than 2000 students, of rehabilitation centers in hospitals, and of several other types of organizations. Behavior settings are empirical facts of everyday life. A description of a community or an organization in terms of behavior settings corresponds to common experi ence. In many cases, small establishments are behavior settings; the paid roles in behavior settingsare occupa tions; and the buildings and equipment of establishments are the buildings and equipment of behavior settings.
Max Weber wrote these methodological essays in the closest intimacy with actual research and against a background of constant and intensive meditation on substantive problems in the theory and strategy of the social sciences. They were written between 1903 and 1917, the most productive of Max Weber's life, when he was working on his studies in the sociology of religion and Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. Weber had done important work in economic and legal history and had taught economic theory. On the basis of original investigations, he had acquired a specialist's knowledge of the details of German economic and social structure. His always vital concern for the political prosperity of Germany among the nations thrust him deeply into discussion of political ideals and programs. Weber's methodology still holds interest for us. Some of its shortcomings, from the contemporary viewpoint, may be attributed to the fact that some of the methodological problems that he treated could not be satisfactorily resolved prior to certain actual developments in research technique. These few qualifications aside, the work remains a pioneering work in large scale social research, from one of the field's masters.
When John Harsanyi came to Stanford University as a candidate for the Ph.D., I asked him why he was bothering, since it was most un likely that he had anything to learn from us. He was already a known scho lar; in addition to some papers in economics, the first two papers in this vol ume had already been published and had dazzled me by their originality and their combination of philosophical insight and technical competence. However, I am very glad I did not discourage him; whether he learned any thing worthwhile I don't know, but we all learned much from him on the foundations of the theory of games and specifically on the outcome of bar gaining. The central focus of Harsanyi's work has continued to be in the theory of games, but especially on the foundations and conceptual problems. The theory of games, properly understood, is a very broad approach to social interaction based on individually rational behavior, and it connects closely with fundamental methodological and substantive issues in social science and in ethics. An indication of the range of Harsanyi's interest in game the ory can be found in the first paper of Part B -though in fact his owncontri butions are much broader-and in the second paper the applications to the methodology of social science. The remaining papers in that section show more specifically the richness of game theory in specific applications.
One of the most promising trends in modem political science is the develop ment of a theory of politics as rational action. Focussing on choice as the central topic of study, rational choice theorists set out to specify what alter native an actor should prefer if he has some given knowledge of the conse quences of each alternative and wants to see his preference system as fully realized as possible. But rational choice theory is not confmed to the norma tive sphere of science. It can also be used for explanatory purposes. Then, the alternatives actually chosen are specified and the task is to explain the decisions by fmding out what considerations lay behind them. The starting point for an emerging research program at the Department of Government, Uppsala University, on 'Politics as Rational Action' is to describe the major choices in fifteen different policy areas of Swedish domes tic politics and explain why they were made.
Agent-based modelling on a computer appears to have a special role to play in the development of social science. It offers a means of discovering general and applicable social theory, and grounding it in precise assumptions and derivations, whilst addressing those elements of individual cognition that are central to human society. However, there are important questions to be asked and difficulties to overcome in achieving this potential. What differentiates agent-based modelling from traditional computer modelling? Which model types should be used under which circumstances? If it is appropriate to use a complex model, how can it be validated? Is social simulation research to adopt a realist epistemology, or can it operate within a social constructionist framework? What are the sociological concepts of norms and norm processing that could either be used for planned implementation or for identifying equivalents of social norms among co-operative agents? Can sustainability be achieved more easily in a hierarchical agent society than in a society of isolated agents? What examples are there of hybrid forms of interaction between humans and artificial agents? These are some of the sociological questions that are addressed.
Writing about sociocultural evolution is always a complicated enterprise, because the subject is not only difficult in a scientific way but also in a political one. In particular since the events of September 11, 2001 the debates about the differences between cultures and their evolutionary developments have left the fields of pure scientific research once and for all. However, there have probably never been scientific discourses that did not touch the realms of political discussions - Darwin, Marx, the atomic physicists and the recent debates about genetic engineering are just a few examples. The aim of this book is not to take part in these debates but it is written as a contribution to the foundations of evolutionary theories in the social sciences. The readers will have to judge if I have succeeded with it. Perhaps essays like this one will help to clarify the problems we all have to face just now in regard to intercultural discourses. Theoretically and mathematically grounded insights into cultural development as the source of many political problems will not solve to how to deal with them them immediately but may serve as signposts in the long run.
The overall aim of this book, an outcome of the European FP7 FET Open NESS project, is to contribute to the ongoing effort to put the quantitative social sciences on a proper footing for the 21st century. A key focus is economics, and its implications on policy making, where the still dominant traditional approach increasingly struggles to capture the economic realities we observe in the world today - with vested interests getting too often in the way of real advances. Insights into behavioral economics and modern computing techniques have made possible both the integration of larger information sets and the exploration of disequilibrium behavior. The domain-based chapters of this work illustrate how economic theory is the only branch of social sciences which still holds to its old paradigm of an equilibrium science - an assumption that has already been relaxed in all related fields of research in the light of recent advances in complex and dynamical systems theory and related data mining. The other chapters give various takes on policy and decision making in this context. Written in nontechnical style throughout, with a mix of tutorial and essay-like contributions, this book will benefit all researchers, scientists, professionals and practitioners interested in learning about the 'thinking in complexity' to understand how socio-economic systems really work.
Facts101 is your complete guide to Integrated Theory and Knowledge Development in Nursing. In this book, you will learn topics such as as those in your book plus much more. With key features such as key terms, people and places, Facts101 gives you all the information you need to prepare for your next exam. Our practice tests are specific to the textbook and we have designed tools to make the most of your limited study time.
Decision theory provides a formal framework for making logical choices in the face of uncertainty. Given a set of alternatives, a set of consequences, and a correspondence between those sets, decision theory offers conceptually simple procedures for choice. This book presents an overview of the fundamental concepts and outcomes of rational decision making under uncertainty, highlighting the implications for statistical practice. The authors have developed a series of self contained chapters focusing on bridging the gaps between the different fields that have contributed to rational decision making and presenting ideas in a unified framework and notation while respecting and highlighting the different and sometimes conflicting perspectives. This book: Provides a rich collection of techniques and procedures. Discusses the foundational aspects and modern day practice. Links foundations to practical applications in biostatistics, computer science, engineering and economics. Presents different perspectives and controversies to encourage readers to form their own opinion of decision making and statistics. Decision Theory is fundamental to all scientific disciplines, including biostatistics, computer science, economics and engineering. Anyone interested in the whys and wherefores of statistical science will find much to enjoy in this book.
Research Design: The Logic of Social Inquiry is a collection of critical writings on different aspects of social research. They have been carefully selected for the variety of approaches they display in relation to three broad styles of research: experimental, survey, and ethnographic. All are classic contributions to the development of methodology and excellent expositions of particular procedures. The book is organized in sections that detail the methods of a typical experimental research program design, data collection, and data analysis. These five sections include The Language of Social Research, Research Design, Data Collection, Measurement, and Data Analysis and Report. Each is preceded by an introduction stressing the unique strengths of the different viewpoints represented and reconciling them in one coherent approach to research. The volume includes displays of philosophical underpinnings of different methodological styles and important issues in research design. Data collection methods, particularly the problem of systematic bias in the data collected, and ways in which researchers may attempt to reduce it, are discussed. There is also a discussion on measurement in which the central issues of reliability, validity, and scale construction are detailed. This kind of synthesis, between such diverse schools of research as the experimentalists and the ethnographers, is of particular concern to social researchers. The book will be of great value to planners and researchers in local government and education departments and to all others engaged in social science or educational research.
The study of public policy and the methods of policy analysis are among the most rapidly developing areas in the social sciences. Policy analysis has emerged to provide a better understanding of the policymaking process and to supply decision makers with reliable policy-relevant knowledge about pressing economic and social problems. Presenting a broad, comprehensive perspective, the Handbook of Public Policy Analysis: Theory, Politics, and Methods covers the historical development of policy analysis, its role in the policy process, and empirical methods. The handbook considers the theory generated by these methods and the normative and ethical issues surrounding their practice. Written by leading experts in the field, this book- Deals with the basic origins and evolution of public policy Examines the stages of the policy-making process Identifies political advocacy and expertise in the policy process Focuses on rationality in policy decision-making and the role of policy networks and learning Details argumentation, rhetoric, and narratives Explores the comparative, cultural, and ethical aspects of public policy Explains primary quantitative-oriented analytical methods employed in policy research Addresses the qualitative sides of policy analysis Discusses tools used to refine policy choices Traces the development of policy analysis in selected national contexts The Handbook of Public Policy Analysis: Theory, Politics, and Methods describes the theoretical debates that have recently defined the field, including the work of postpositivist, interpretivist, and social constructionist scholars. This book also explores the interplay between empirical and normative analysis, a crucial issue running through contemporary debates.
This handbook consists of a solid theoretical and scientific rationale that is presented in a simple language. It also presents a balance between quantitative and qualitative methods of research and analysis, and advocates for problem-focused methodology, and mixed design when the questions asked by the researcher or the scientists require doing so. The most distinctive feature of the book is that the contents are presented in a hierarchy in terms of complexity
Detailed annotations (100-150 words) on some 500 items focus on articles, books, and book chapters published from 1980 through 1991 and important classic items published prior to 1980. With both scholarly/theoretical and practical how-to perspectives, the book covers material concerning research, university, college, community college, and special libraries. Major chapters discuss an overview of the collection evaluation process, methods and methodology, use studies, availability studies, the RLG Conspectus, serials evaluation (including serials review case studies), citation analysis (including structure of disciplines), journal ranking, standards, and application of automation to the collection evaluation process. The book will be useful to academic library practitioners, students, teachers, and researchers in library and information science education.
Modern social sciences have, over the past forty years, been committed to the improvement of public policy. More recently, however, doubts have arisen about the possibility and desirability of a policy-oriented social science. In this book, leading specialists in the field analyze both the development and failings of policy-oriented social science. In contrast to other writings on the subject, this volume presents a distinctively historical and comparative approach. By looking at earlier periods, the contributors demonstrate how policy orientation has been central to the emergence and evolution of the social sciences as a form of professional activity. Case studies of rarely examined societies such as Poland, Brazil and Japan further demonstrate the various ways in which intellectual developments have been shaped by the societal contexts in which they have emerged and how they have taken part in the shaping of these societies.
This book examines the nature of economic explanation. The author introduces current thinking in the philosophy of science and reviews the literature on methodology. He looks at the status of welfare economics, and also provides a series of case studies of leading economic controversies, showing how they may be illuminated by paying attention to questions of methodology. A final chapter draws the strands together and gives the author's view of what is wrong with modern economics. This book is a revised and updated edition of a classic work on the methodology of economics.
The major themes explored in this book, originally published in 1986, are the political resonances of social stratification and change; the growing distance between the working class and the providers of social services; and the role of locality in social reproduction. The relationship between society and space is the subject of a major debate in developed countries. The key questions are about just how far spatial patterns and local conditions affect social relations and stratification and how far they shape collective action, electoral responses and class.