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Using Complexity Theory for Research and Program Evaluation$
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Michael Wolf-Branigin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199829460

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199829460.001.0001

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Shifting from a Metaphorical to a Mathematical Approach

Shifting from a Metaphorical to a Mathematical Approach

(p.60) 4 Shifting from a Metaphorical to a Mathematical Approach
Using Complexity Theory for Research and Program Evaluation

Michael Wolf-Branigin

Oxford University Press

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

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