<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
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

Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
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
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
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
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
hi
Loga
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Good
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Dynamics of social systems. OpenStax CNX. Aug 07, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10587/1.9
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Dynamics of social systems' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask