The action-reaction elements of the Pattern R are universal to the many different types and names of relationships.
We were asked to answer this question through the FAQ form. Feel free to ask your question here.
It's a good question. The answer is a little complicated, so I’ll use an analogy that will help us break down the terminology we use for discussing relationships into three terms:
- type, and
Remember this is an analogy, please don't take it literally. When you have a baby there are two fundamental or universal-elements at play (sperm and egg) which are different from the type of baby you have (boy/girl, etc.) which is different from the name you give that child (Jerry, Sally, etc.).
Likewise, when a relationship forms, there are fundamental elements that go into its formation (action-reaction). Those elements are different than the type of relationship (causal, feedback, temporal, correlative, connotative) which are in turn different from the name you call that relationship (what in DSRP language we call an RD) such as: "leads to," "shares," "breaks," "causes," "occurs after," "follows," "occurs before," "precedes," or the mathematical operators such as +, -, /, and x, etc.
The first part of the answer is found here in a blog titled, I am R. Here me Rar, which articulates action-reaction as the elemental structure of all Relationships (R). In other words, to conceptualize a relationship—any relationship—its elemental structure (action-reaction) will be at work. Thus, the interaction of an action and reaction defines a Relationship and is required for a Relationship to form or "be born."
However, this elemental structure is quite different than the type (e.g., quality or category) of the relationship, and is also different from the name of [the informational variable ascribed to] the Relationship itself.
You mentioned that cognitive/causal maps limits the types of relationships that exist to: causal, temporal or connotative.
Depending on how you decide to carve up your relationship-types, there are others such as: feedback, correlative, linear, nonlinear, direct, indirect, conceptual, and physical, etc.All of these possible types of relationships have the elemental structure of action and reaction as we know from the "R" of DSRP. In addition, in DSRP, a relationship can be labelled with any information variable whatsoever; in other words, it can have any name (unlike other theoretical and mapping paradigms like cognitive/causal, system dynamics, network theory, to name a few). A simple example below illustrates some of these points. For example, let's say that I explain to you that:
Jerry tripped into the glass-elephant causing it to break.
Let's take a look at some of the relationships in this statement. First we look at a causal type relationship where on the left you see the basic causal structure: Jerry broke glass-elephant. On the right you can see that Jerry is a force and is a "blame-able" or the causal agent, whereas the glass-elephant is a breakable an object. Note that the name used for this relationship is "broke" but it could have been smashed, destroyed, caused, causes, etc.
If this is somewhat confusing, consider a different claim: Jerry broke the Earth. Although the structure is the same, it is much more of a head-turner because the inter-action between Jerry (a single person) and Earth (a large object) seems hard to believe that the relationship is one of breaking. One would have to imagine it differently, perhaps, metaphorically, or that Jerry is a God or superhuman or some other condition for the sentence to make sense. Let's say for example that Jerry broke the Earth is meant to signify that by polluting he caused the Earth to become polluted. Here, Jerry is used as a metaphor for all "7.5 billion Jerrys" and broken is used as a metaphor for polluted. To make sense of it, the identities of the left and right sides of the causality must interact. Jerry broke a glass-elephant is a much more common action-reaction that we can imagine than Jerry broke the Earth. In either case, however, the identities being related must act upon each other to see the relationship.
In the previous example there was also a temporal type of relationship in the statement as in: Jerry tripped then elephant-broke. [You might argue this is also a connotative relationship because it implies that it is a correlative relationship]. Jerry tripped, then the elephant broke. Two things occurred. The relationship named "then" tells us that at the very least it is a temporal type of relationship. But either way, on the right you can see the action-reaction structure of the relationship. In the same way that the identities mother and child occur simultaneously, so to do all relationships. To be before, there must be an after and vice versa. To be an effect, there must be a cause, and vice versa.
The third type of relationship mentioned was connotative which means:
(of a word or expression) signifying or suggestive of an associative or secondary meaning in addition to the primary meaning. e.g., His singing voice can best be described by the connotative word “velvet.”
If I say "Jerry" with a particular intonation and emphasis that makes him sound like a lumbering idiot, this could be a connotative relationship being expressed because I'm saying that Jerry is just the type of bloke who would break a glass-elephant. In this case, the invisible relationship (here mapped explicitly) is an existential one: is a. This makes sense because connotative is the same as denotative but is implicit or suggestive rather than explicitly defined. So, we are suggesting that Jerry is a bumbling, elephant-smashing bruiser of a man. On the right you can see that this newly denoted definition for Jerry occurred because of a connotative relationship. In other words, we didn't think of (or define him) as a bumbling-bruiser until somebody suggested it. But now we associate Jerry explicitly with being a bumbling, elephant-breaker.
More fun with relationships (this one causal).
Remember that Recognizing Relationships (R) lies at the root of all of the following:
- connect, relate, interconnect, interact, link, cause, effect, affect, rank;
- most words with the prefixes inter-, intra-, extra-, such as interdisciplinary, intramural;
- between, among, feedback, couple, associate, join;
- most words with the the prefix co- as in correlate or cooperate or communicate; and
- types of relationships such as linear, nonlinear, causal, feedback, and mathematical operators such as +, -, /, and x.