Chapter

Shifting from a Metaphorical to a Mathematical Approach

Michael Wolf-Branigin

in Using Complexity Theory for Research and Program Evaluation

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199829460
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199315895 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199829460.003.0004

Series: Pocket Guides to Social Work Research Methods

Shifting from a Metaphorical to a Mathematical Approach

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Several mathematical and statistical concepts that support investigating complex phenomena within social work need reinforcing. This chapter reviews several of these concepts so that readers may apply them when investigating complexity in social work. Reviewing and building upon this general knowledge provides a sufficient basis for understanding complex networks and interconnected environments in which social workers conduct their practices and research. After completing this chapter, readers will gain a preliminary understanding of the mathematical concepts behind complexity theory, understand the role of game theory in the development of complexity, and possess the ability to link these mathematical concepts to social service applications.

Keywords: complexity; game theory; graph theory; Boolean logic; decision theory; network science

Chapter.  5160 words.  Illustrated.

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