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This module presents the basic idea of a model to be used in the physical sciences, social sciences, and engineering. Perhaps also in the humanities.

Models

The concept of a model is very close to that of an analogy. It is so fundamental to our thought, decisionmaking, and problem solving processes that it is difficult to isolate and study; however, to accomplish the goal of simulatingand understanding complicated social systems, it is essential that we do understand the concept of a model and develop methods forconstructing them. Like many basic concepts, it is best described by examples:

Physical model

To the average person the word "model" might bring to mind someone modeling a dress, or perhaps a photographer'smodel, or even a model airplane or car. Let's consider these cases. The usual reason for looking at a dress on a model is to imaginewhat the dress would look like on one's self without having to buy it to find out. The photographer uses his camera to make a likenessof the model in the form of a picture. The model plane or car allows one to enjoy the details and perspectives of the modelwithout the problems and expense of actual ownership of the airplane or car. Indeed, one can try experiments on the models thatwould be very difficult or expensive to actually perform on the real thing.

Consider the methods and purposes behind the architect's model of a building, the car designer's prototype of anew design, or the aerodynamicist's wind tunnel model of a new airplane. As one considers what is common to these ideas of a modeland what purposes are served, perhaps the concept begins to take shape.

Mental model

Rather than further pursue the various types of physical models, let us consider another less obvious form ofmodel, the mental model. For example, the merchant who mentally speculates: "if I increase the price of this article from x to y,the buyers will still buy enough that I will come out ahead," and the mother who says, "if I spank my child for leaving his toys out,he will stop", are both using intuitive mental models of incredibly complicated economic, sociological, and psychological systems thateven experts don't agree on. Freud, Skinner, Erikson and others have all produced models of human psychology that much of moderntherapy and advertising are based on. Indeed, reflection indicates that much of human thought is involved with mental model making andthe use of these models for decision making, problem solving, or merely pleasure.

The politician who tells the voters what will happen if certain policies are followed, the advertiser who tellsthe potential buyer the results of using his product, and the preacher who predicts the consequences of evil to his followers areall involved with the building and use of mental and verbal models.

Even the simple speculation of "if I wear these clothes I will look nice" is based on a model of how one'sfriends will respond to one's dress. Indeed, most processes of experience can be viewed as model building, experimentation, modelmodification, etc. Further reflection shows how much of one's mental activities can be viewed as involved with modeling and howmany academic disciplines are based on models, even though the concept and process is poorly understood and seldom explicitlydiscussed.

Questions & Answers

how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
yeah
Joseph
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
Lohitha
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
Ali
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
hey
Giriraj
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
Kamaluddeen
yes
narayan
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
Bhagvanji
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
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Source:  OpenStax, Dynamics of social systems. OpenStax CNX. Aug 07, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10587/1.9
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