Social Science Meets Systems Science
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A scale-free systems theory of motivation and addiction

A scale-free systems theory of motivation and addiction | Social Science Meets Systems Science | Scoop.it
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Abstract

Scale-free organizations, characterized by uneven distributions of linkages between nodal elements, describe the structure and function of many life-based complex systems developing under evolutionary pressures. We explore motivated behavior as a scale-free map toward a comprehensive translational theory of addiction. Motivational and behavioral repertoires are reframed as link and nodal element sets, respectively, comprising a scale-free structure. These sets are generated by semi-independent information-processing streams within cortical–striatal circuits that cooperatively provide decision-making and sequential processing functions necessary for traversing maps of motivational links connecting behavioral nodes. Dopamine modulation of cortical–striatal plasticity serves a central-hierarchical mechanism for survival-adaptive sculpting and development of motivational–behavioral repertoires by guiding a scale-free design. Drug-induced dopamine activity promotes drug taking as a highly connected behavioral hub at the expense of natural-adaptive motivational links and behavioral nodes. Conceptualizing addiction as pathological alteration of scale-free motivational–behavioral repertoires unifies neurobiological, neurocomputational and behavioral research while addressing addiction vulnerability in adolescence and psychiatric illness. This model may inform integrative research in defining more effective prevention and treatment strategies for addiction.

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NASA: Industrial civilization headed for ‘irreversible collapse’ | The Raw Story

NASA: Industrial civilization headed for ‘irreversible collapse’ | The Raw Story | Social Science Meets Systems Science | Scoop.it
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This research finds that according to the historical record even advanced, complex civilizations are susceptible to collapse, raising questions about the sustainability of modern civilization.


The research project is based on a new cross-disciplinary ‘Human And Nature DYnamical’ (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharri of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural and social scientists. The study based on the HANDY model has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal, Ecological Economics.

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Complex Systems and Health Behavior Change: Insights from Cognitive Science

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Objective: To provide proof-of-concept that quantum health behavior can be instantiated as a computational model that is informed by cognitive science, the Theory of Reasoned Action, and quantum health behavior theory. Methods: We conducted a synthetic review of the intersection of quantum health behavior change and cognitive science. We conducted simulations, using a computational model of quantum health behavior (a constraint satisfaction artificial neural network) and tested whether the model exhibited quantum-like behavior. Results: The model exhibited clear signs of quantum-like behavior. Conclusions: Quantum health behavior can be conceptualized as constraint satisfaction: a mitigation between current behavioral state and the social contexts in which it operates. We outlined implications for moving forward with computational models of both quantum health behavior and health behavior in general.

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What Is Systems Thinking? - Peter Senge Explains Systems Thinking Approach And Principles

What Is Systems Thinking? - Peter Senge Explains Systems Thinking Approach And Principles | Social Science Meets Systems Science | Scoop.it
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A chaotic view of behavior change: a quantum leap for health promotion

The study of health behavior change, including nutrition and physical activity behaviors, has been rooted in a cognitive-rational paradigm. Change is conceptualized as a linear, deterministic process where individuals weigh pros and cons, and at the point at which the benefits outweigh the cost change occurs. Consistent with this paradigm, the associated statistical models have almost exclusively assumed a linear relationship between psychosocial predictors and behavior. Such a perspective however, fails to account for non-linear, quantum influences on human thought and action. Consider why after years of false starts and failed attempts, a person succeeds at increasing their physical activity, eating healthier or losing weight. Or, why after years of success a person relapses. This paper discusses a competing view of health behavior change that was presented at the 2006 annual ISBNPA meeting in Boston.
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