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The Underlying Social Dynamics of Paradigm Shifts.

Rodriguez-Sickert C, Cosmelli D, Claro F, Fuentes MA - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: We find that the combination of these two forces together with random experimentation can account for both i) marginal change, that is, periods of normal science or refinements on the performance of a given technology (and in which the community stays in the neighborhood of the current paradigm); and ii) radical change, which takes the form of scientific paradigm shifts (or discontinuities in the structure of performance of a technology) that is observed as a swift migration of the knowledge community towards the new and superior paradigm.For this parameter region, nevertheless, a conservative force is exerted by the representatives of the current paradigm.However, social influence is not strong enough to seriously hamper individual discovery, and can act so as to empower successful individual pioneers who have conquered the new and superior paradigm.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Facultad de Gobierno, Centro de Investigación en Complejidad Social, UDD, Santiago, Chile.

ABSTRACT
We develop here a multi-agent model of the creation of knowledge (scientific progress or technological evolution) within a community of researchers devoted to such endeavors. In the proposed model, agents learn in a physical-technological landscape, and weight is attached to both individual search and social influence. We find that the combination of these two forces together with random experimentation can account for both i) marginal change, that is, periods of normal science or refinements on the performance of a given technology (and in which the community stays in the neighborhood of the current paradigm); and ii) radical change, which takes the form of scientific paradigm shifts (or discontinuities in the structure of performance of a technology) that is observed as a swift migration of the knowledge community towards the new and superior paradigm. The efficiency of the search process is heavily dependent on the weight that agents posit on social influence. The occurrence of a paradigm shift becomes more likely when each member of the community attaches a small but positive weight to the experience of his/her peers. For this parameter region, nevertheless, a conservative force is exerted by the representatives of the current paradigm. However, social influence is not strong enough to seriously hamper individual discovery, and can act so as to empower successful individual pioneers who have conquered the new and superior paradigm.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Physical technology landscape, V(x), in which the agents of the community of knowledge learn.Each point x represents a particular theory/technology. Points to the left of the valley minimum xb represent theories/technologies which belong to the old paradigm, which achieves maximum value at the local optimum x0, and points to the right represent theories/technologies which belong to the new paradigm, which achieves maximum value at the global optimum x1. Initial conditions involve n agents at the current paradigm x0.
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pone.0138172.g001: Physical technology landscape, V(x), in which the agents of the community of knowledge learn.Each point x represents a particular theory/technology. Points to the left of the valley minimum xb represent theories/technologies which belong to the old paradigm, which achieves maximum value at the local optimum x0, and points to the right represent theories/technologies which belong to the new paradigm, which achieves maximum value at the global optimum x1. Initial conditions involve n agents at the current paradigm x0.

Mentions: The PT landscape has a local optimum on x0 (current paradigm) and a global maximum on xn (new paradigm). Then, each hill represents a scientific (technological) paradigm see Fig 1.


The Underlying Social Dynamics of Paradigm Shifts.

Rodriguez-Sickert C, Cosmelli D, Claro F, Fuentes MA - PLoS ONE (2015)

Physical technology landscape, V(x), in which the agents of the community of knowledge learn.Each point x represents a particular theory/technology. Points to the left of the valley minimum xb represent theories/technologies which belong to the old paradigm, which achieves maximum value at the local optimum x0, and points to the right represent theories/technologies which belong to the new paradigm, which achieves maximum value at the global optimum x1. Initial conditions involve n agents at the current paradigm x0.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4587884&req=5

pone.0138172.g001: Physical technology landscape, V(x), in which the agents of the community of knowledge learn.Each point x represents a particular theory/technology. Points to the left of the valley minimum xb represent theories/technologies which belong to the old paradigm, which achieves maximum value at the local optimum x0, and points to the right represent theories/technologies which belong to the new paradigm, which achieves maximum value at the global optimum x1. Initial conditions involve n agents at the current paradigm x0.
Mentions: The PT landscape has a local optimum on x0 (current paradigm) and a global maximum on xn (new paradigm). Then, each hill represents a scientific (technological) paradigm see Fig 1.

Bottom Line: We find that the combination of these two forces together with random experimentation can account for both i) marginal change, that is, periods of normal science or refinements on the performance of a given technology (and in which the community stays in the neighborhood of the current paradigm); and ii) radical change, which takes the form of scientific paradigm shifts (or discontinuities in the structure of performance of a technology) that is observed as a swift migration of the knowledge community towards the new and superior paradigm.For this parameter region, nevertheless, a conservative force is exerted by the representatives of the current paradigm.However, social influence is not strong enough to seriously hamper individual discovery, and can act so as to empower successful individual pioneers who have conquered the new and superior paradigm.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Facultad de Gobierno, Centro de Investigación en Complejidad Social, UDD, Santiago, Chile.

ABSTRACT
We develop here a multi-agent model of the creation of knowledge (scientific progress or technological evolution) within a community of researchers devoted to such endeavors. In the proposed model, agents learn in a physical-technological landscape, and weight is attached to both individual search and social influence. We find that the combination of these two forces together with random experimentation can account for both i) marginal change, that is, periods of normal science or refinements on the performance of a given technology (and in which the community stays in the neighborhood of the current paradigm); and ii) radical change, which takes the form of scientific paradigm shifts (or discontinuities in the structure of performance of a technology) that is observed as a swift migration of the knowledge community towards the new and superior paradigm. The efficiency of the search process is heavily dependent on the weight that agents posit on social influence. The occurrence of a paradigm shift becomes more likely when each member of the community attaches a small but positive weight to the experience of his/her peers. For this parameter region, nevertheless, a conservative force is exerted by the representatives of the current paradigm. However, social influence is not strong enough to seriously hamper individual discovery, and can act so as to empower successful individual pioneers who have conquered the new and superior paradigm.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus