Research Summary: When Models Interact with Their Subjects: The Dynamics of Model Aware Systems

ABSTRACT

A scientific model need not be a passive and static descriptor of its subject. If the subject is affected by the model, the model must be updated to explain its affected subject. In this study, two models regarding the dynamics of model aware systems are presented. The first explores the behavior of “prediction seeking” (PSP) and “prediction avoiding” (PSP) populations under the influence of a model that describes them. The second explores the publishing behavior of a group of experimentalists coupled to a model by means of confirmation bias. It is found that model aware systems can exhibit convergent random or oscillatory behavior and display universal 1/f noise. A numerical simulation of the physical experimentalists is compared with actual publications of neutron life time and mass measurements and is in good quantitative agreement.

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Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 15-June-2011

Author(s): Vural D.

Link: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0020721

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