The Mathematics of Behavior

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Oktober 2006



Mathematical thinking provides a clear, crisp way of defining problems. Our whole technology is based on it. What is less appreciated is that mathematical thinking can also be applied to problems in the social and behavioral sciences. This book illustrates how mathematics can be used to understand human and animal behavior, using examples in psychology, sociology, economics, ecology, and even marriage counseling.


1. Introduction; 2. Applying probability theory to problems in sociology and psychology; 3. From physics to perception; 4. When systems evolve over time; 5. Non-Linear and chaotic systems; 6. Defining rationality - personal and group decision making; 7. How to evaluate evidence; 8. Multidimensional scaling surveying the geography of the mind; 9. The mathematical models behind psychological testing; 10. How to know you asked a good question; 11. The construction of complexity: how simple rules make the complex organizations; 12. Connectionism: computation connects mind and brain; 13. L'Envoi; References; Index.


Earl Hunt is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle. He has written many articles and chapters in contributed volumes and was the past editor of Cognitive Psychology and Journal of Experimental Psychology. His books include Concept Learning: An Information Processing Problem (Wiley), Experiments in Induction (Academic Press), Artificial Intelligence (Academic Press), and Will We Be Smart Enough? (Sage Foundation) which won the William James Prize from the American Psychological Association in 1996. His most recent book is Thoughts on Thought (Erlbaum, 2002).


'Traditionally, texts on mathematical modeling rarely select topics from social sciences, and this interesting book is a welcome addition to existing literature. It appeals to students and researchers in social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, engineering, mathematics, as well as to anyone curious enough to patiently go through clearly explained and not very difficult mathematical passages in order to understand the chemistry of marital interactions, residential segregation and genocide, intelligence theories or approaches to learning. Believe me; your efforts will be generously rewarded!' Zentralblatt MATH 'A great book for anyone looking for an introduction to mathematical modelling within the social sciences.' Psychometrika
EAN: 9780521615228
ISBN: 0521615224
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Oktober 2006
Seitenanzahl: 346 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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