Complex Systems: Role of Social Paradigms in Resilience to Change, with Paula Williams

October 9, 2013

Friday, Oct. 11, 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
CPISB, Room 105A

The role of social paradigms in resilience to change is poorly understood. Past research suggests that social paradigms shape human values through socialization, and alter an individual¹s attentiveness to information. Thus, there is a relationship among personal cognition, the objective environment, social paradigm, and human behavior.  My research suggests that our social paradigm affects perception of and response to environmental change, hence human adaptive capacity.

Our paradigm encourages separation from and commodification of the biophysical environment.  Other paradigms foster links between humans and their environment and also serve the purpose of incorporating ritual, myth and story-telling to conform human behavior to the limits of the biophysical environment rather than conforming the biophysical environment to human desires.

Accurate perception of environmental feedback and appropriate responses to change increase resilience. This work suggests that the currently predominant social paradigm may reduce our resilience by impairing our perception of change and our willingness to adapt, whereas paradigms that foster links may be more able and willing to adapt because they are better able to perceive change.

Future talks for Fall 2013:
10/11          Paula Williams – The role of social paradigms in resilience to change and their implication to the environment.
10/17-18      David Krakauer from University of Wisconsin is speaking on the evolution of intelligence
10/25           Andreas Tziolas Icarus Interstellar
11/1             Nathan Shafer. Augmented Reality
11/8             Stefanos Folias. Oscillations and Synchrony in the Visual Cortex

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