Systems Thinking Summary Glossary

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Cabrera, D., and Cabrera, L. (2020). “Systems Thinking Summary Glossary.”  Cabrera Research Lab. https://help.cabreraresearch.org/systems-thinking-summary-glossary.

 

Last updated updated June 8, 2020 11:50am

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# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

#

  • 21st century skills  | noun  | the skills generally thought to be necessary for people to have in the future (21st Century); most of these skills have DSRP as their foundation

A

  • action (a)  | noun  | the first-position or "yin" element of the Relationships (R) rule of DSRP; represented by the variable (a)
  • action-reaction  | noun  | the elements of the Relationships (R) rule of DSRP; represented by the variables (a) and (r)
  • adaptation  | noun  | the action or process of adapting or being adapted; adaptation is a critically important concept in Systems Thinking (ST) and evolution; it is centrally important to CAS and VMCL and the ST Loop
  • Adaptive Methodology for Ecosystem Sustainability and Health (AMESH)  | noun  | a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Agent Based Approach (ABA)  | noun  | an approach to systems understanding, problem solving, and analysis-synthesis of various kinds (e.g., process, policy, systems, etc.) that utilizes a CAS perspective as a frame; a specific stepwise method for approaching a given system or problem developed by Drs. Derek and Laura Cabrera.
  • Agent Based Modeling (ABM)  | noun  | a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • agents  | noun  | the actors in a complex adaptive system or CAS; agents is an abstract term used to describe anything from atoms to molecules, cells, individual organisms (birds, ants, people) but also collectives (married couples, groups, whole organizations, states, countries); see also CAS
  • Algorithmic Information Content (AIC)  | noun  | a measure of randomness based on the length of a concise description of a set; effective complexity is the length of a concise description of a set's regularities (found by mutual information (MI);  A differentiation of the terms complex, simple, complicated, chaos, and stochastic
  • alignment  | noun  | a term used both in DSRP and VMCL. In DSRP, alignment refers to the degree of similarity between one's mental model (M) and reality (R), sometimes called "probability of alignment." In VMCL, alignment refers to the degree that the four functions of the organization (Vision (V), Mission (M), Capacity (C), and Learning (L) are in alignment with each other. These individual connections of alignment are called "coupled" as in "M and V are coupled." This, if V is coupled with M, M with C, and C with L, then there is alignment.
  • atomic  | adjective  | used generally to describe something that is not broken down further; a-tom comes from the Latin, not-splittable; in DSRP terminology "atomic" usually refers to the elements of DSRP as in "atomic elements"; atomic is differentiated from "molecular (see molecular) which are combinations and composites of atomic elements
  • Autopoiesis  | noun  | a concept of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation; a maintaining or self-replicating system  (Maturana and Varela). 

B

  • behavior  | noun  | the way in which one acts or conducts oneself; behavior is the direct result of mental models
  • biomimicry  | noun  | a method of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation; biomimicry refers to purposeful human design informed by nature; one is challenged to find a human invention or innovation that was not inspired by nature and therefore one which is not a case of biomimicry; Because it is a physics-cognitive theory, DSRP is ideally suited to assist in biomimicry efforts
  • boundary  | noun  | See Distinctions (D)
  • BSM (Buddhist systems methodology)  | noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that hasDSRP as its foundation

C

  • Capacity (C)  |  noun  |   one of four universal functions of organization; the C in VMCL; Capacity refers to systems of systems that is focused entirely on the Mission (M) function; Capacity is sometimes referred to as "Be" as in "See, Do, Be, Re" because it is an existential state of readiness that provides the energy for doing the organization's Mission.
  • CAS  | noun  | See complex adaptive system (CAS)
  • cellular automata  | noun  | A cellular automaton is a collection of "colored" cells on a grid of specified shape that evolves through a number of discrete time steps according to a set of rules based on the states of neighboring cells. The rules are then applied iteratively for as many time steps as desired (Wolfram World); cellular automata are a form of ABM and analogous in many ways with  CAS
  • chaos  | noun  | See effective complexity
  • checks  | noun  | In VMCL, checks are the "litmus" tests used to determine whether the V, M, C, or L function is well designed, effective, and functional; there are numerous checks for each of the four functions of VMCL
  • cognition  | noun  | see also Thinking (T); the act of structuring information to form meaning (mental models); the scientific word for thinking; may also refer to the academic field of cognition
  • collective dynamics  | noun  | the sum of the interactions that result from agents following local simple rules; the collective dynamics of a CAS result in its emergent behavior or properties
  • combinatorial  | adjective  | see DSRP dynamics; relating to the selection of a given number of elements from a larger number without regard to their arrangement.
  • complex adaptive organization (CAO)  | noun  | A human organizational CAS. All human organizations are complex adaptive organizations (CAO). Thus, a CAO is any human organization. However, the term CAO helps us to understand the agent-based, simple-rules structured, collective dynamics, and emergent properties of all organizations and their universal functions: vision (goal state), mission (action), capacity (energy), learning (feedback).
  • complex adaptive system (CAS)  | noun  | a system that exhibits emergent and adaptive behavior; CASs are composed of agents following local simple rules leading to collective dynamics that yield emergent properties; DSRP is a CAS; VMCL is a CAS; All human organizations are CASs
  • Complex project management  | noun  | a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • complexity  | noun  | See effective complexity
  • Complexity Science  | noun  | the study of complexity; usually related to simplicity (aka “plectics”)
  • complicated  | adjective  | See effective complexity
  • concept  | noun  | See mental model; synonymous with mental model
  • content agnostic  | noun, adjective  | structures or patterns (like DSRP) that remain the same (are agnostic to) regardless of the specific informational (content) details.
  • Content Mastery  | noun  | the deep understanding of a topic; contrast with memorization of information
  • content-context (Pattern)  | noun  | In DSRP, sometimes the sum of all Information (I) is referred to as content and the sum of all DSRP structures is referred to as "context"; any given mental model has a "pattern" of its information and structure; sometimes called the "fifth pattern" but is really a group of the previous 4
  • context  | noun  | a term that is thrown around a lot to mean the surroundings or environment of an element or actor; Context, however, is a vague term that is more often than not used in a lazy way;  DSRP allows us to qualify and quantify what we mean by context
  • Cortex Man  | noun  | A scientific fact that there are more neurons connecting your brain to your hands and eyes than all the other part of your body combined. This is why so much of CRL's research focuses on tactile and visual tools and technologies. As part of this effort, we made the cortical homunculus available in a 3D printed model. As a figurine developed by CRL, a constant desk reminder of why you need to make things visual and tactile. Check out a video about "Cortex Man."
  • cortical homunculus  | noun  | See Cortex Man
  • Creative thinking  | noun  | another vague and highly misunderstood term (like critical thinking, context and theory) that is often associated with intelligence, innovation, and invention, the arts, etc. However, creativity is merely the at of creation and can be associated with what is stereotypically “creative” or “analytical.”  If something is created, then there is creativity. It is not, as is often assumed, a wholly different type of thinking, but instead utilizes DSRP but with a perspectival bent toward creation.
  • critical systems heuristics (CSH)  | noun  | a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • critical systems theory (CST)  | noun  | a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Critical Thinking  | noun  | another vague and highly misunderstood term (like creativity, context and theory) that is often associated with intelligence, science, etc. Critical thinking however is quite simply the act of thinking with a lens (Perspective) that is of a critical orientation. and thus evaluative in nature. It is not, as is often assumed, a wholly different type of thinking, but instead utilizes  DSRP but with a perspectival bent toward critique.
  • culture  | noun  | defined in VMCL as "shared mental models" or more accurately, "mental models held in common by a group of individuals or organization"
  • Cybernetics (First Order & Second Order)  | noun  | a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation

D

  • data  | noun  | see information
  • degrees of freedom  | noun   |  the structural potential maximum of a physico-cognitive phenomena
  • Democratic Delphi  | noun  | a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Design Thinking  | noun  | a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Developmental Systems Theory  | noun  | a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Distinctions (D)  | noun  | a Distinction (D) is of of four simple rules in DSRP Theory; it states that we make distinctions universally and when we do, those distinctions are comprised of two interacting elements: an identity (i) and an other (o); a boundary is formed between the identity and the other.
  • DIYCBT  | noun  | Do-it-yourself (DIY) Cognitive-Behavioral-Therapy (CBT), also called "DIY-self-help" is a radical form of self-directed personal and professional mastery and development developed by Dr. Derek Cabrera. The process involves metacognition, mental model building, behavior auditing, reification, mirroring, and numerous other techniques and tools such as DSRP, jigs, and especially sliders
  • DSRP  | noun  | see DSRP Theory; the acronym for making Distinctions (D), organizing systems (S), articulating relationships (R), and taking Perspectives (P)
  • DSRP dynamics  | noun  | the dynamics of DSRP are complex, but they are the result of the interactions among the 4 simple rules and their 8 elements (what are collectively called DSRP structures); understanding DSRP's dynamics is not only essential to understanding DSRP, it is also shown to be the most difficult skill to master in learning DSRP
  • DSRP mapping  | noun, verb  | See universal visual grammar
  • DSRP Method  | noun  | DSRP Method is not the same as the DSRP Theory; the DSRP Method is a research method that can be used to analyze and understand various phenomena
  • DSRP Structures  | noun  | see DSRP Theory; "structures" is another term for D, S, R, and P because they structure information
  • DSRP Theory  | noun  | DSRP Theory states that: (1) Thinking (T) is not something you can do, but something you get from doing simple rules.Thinking is therefore an emergent property of mixing and matching four combinatorial rules (DSRP) and that each of the DSRP rules is made up of two elements: identity-other Distinctions (D); part-whole Systems (S); action-reaction Relationships (R), and; point-view Perspectives (P). (2) The process of thinking (T)  organizes or structures Information (I) to form a mental model (M), such that M=IⓍT{DSRP}. (3) The mental model (M) is clearly distinguished as an approximation of reality (R) and is tested against reality in order to take in more Information (I)… thus forming a feedback loop between mental models approximating (tested against) reality, thereby garnering feedback in the form of information, in turn adapting one’s mental model, and continuously iterating (see ST Loop).
  • dynamics  | noun  | see DSRP dynamics

E

  • Earth Systems Science/Panarchy/resilience  | noun  | a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Ecological Governance (in place of Sustainability Indicators)  | noun  | a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Ecological Model of Human Development  | noun  | a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Ecology  | noun  | the branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings; more expansively, the term ecology references a  DSRP-like set of interrelated, grouped and subgrouped, perspectival variables of any kind (to include an ecology of products, services, people, issues, or mixes of elements of any kind or type)
  • effective complexity  | noun  | effective complexity (EC) is the length of a concise description of a set's regularities (found by mutual information (MI);  EC assists in the differentiation of the terms complex, simple, complicated, chaos, and stochastic. More...
  • elements  | noun  |  in DSRP the elements are the base-pairs that make up the four simple rules or patterns (DSRP); the element base-pairs are: identity-other for D, part-whole for S, action-reaction for R, and point-view for P
  • emergence  |  noun  |  the, often surprising, behavior of a complex adaptive system; although the behavior may seem complex and even sometimes mysterious or "magical" it is always explained by the agents following simple rules, locally, yielding collective dynamics
  • emergent behavior  |  noun  |  See emergence
  • emergent property  |  noun  |  See emergence
  • enclosure  |  noun  |  the logic table and truth table that shows that DSRP patterns are not only universal but that they are simultaneous, necessary and sufficient; answers the question, "why only 4?"
  • EQ/IQ  |  noun  |  EQ/IQ refers to the positive affiliation that is often described in a false dichotomy of emotional intelligence (EI) and analytical intelligence (metaphorically called IQ). This false dichotomy is spawned by the equally false divide between left and right brain thinking. Suffice to say, EQ and IQ are AND/BOTH rather than EITHER/OR phenomena. Research shows not only that they are mutually dependent but also that they are both sought-after workplace skills (21st century skills)
  • Ethics of ST  |  noun  |  See SRBS article
  • Evolutionary Learning Laboratories  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation

F

  • Family Systems Theory  |  Noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • feedback  |  noun  |  In DSRP, a type of Relationship (R) that many, but not all, systems exhibit; In ST Loop, synonymous with the information that returns from Reality into the mental model which in VMCL is essential for Learning (L). Feedback occurs when outputs of a system are routed back as inputs as part of a chain of cause-and-effect that forms a circuit or loop. The system can then be said to feed back into itself. (Wikipedia); feedback is an especially important concept in Systems Thinking (ST) but it is not elemental as is DSRP, Instead feedback is an S of Rs jig.
  • Feminist Systems Thinking  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • fractal  |  noun  |  self-similarity across scale; DSRP structures and dynamics are often called fractal because of their self-similarity across all time-space scales
  • frame  |  noun  |  See Perspectives (P)
  • frame of reference  |  noun  |  See Perspectives (P)
  • Framing Rules   |  noun  |  See Fropping Rules 
  • Frop   |  verb  |  See Fropping Rules 
  • Fropping Rules  |  noun   |  A portmanteau of Framing and Stopping. Fropping provides a perspective on the goal of analysis that answers questions of what is relevant, when to stop, what/where to explore. Framing + Stoppping Rules = Fropping Rules 
  • function  |  noun  |  a structure that causes the transformation of an input (a relation of variables)

G

  • Graphic Facilitation  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Group model building  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • grounding | verb |  to connect [usually something abstract] to something tangible, reified,  as in grounding a new term or concept to a story or an example.

H

  • Holism v. Reductionism  |  noun  |  A false dichotomy put forward in popular misconceptions of systems thinking. Systems thinking is both holistic and reductionistic. 
  • Human Ecology  |  noun  |  a discipline broadly based on Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • hypothesis  |  noun  |  an educated or informed guess; a "scientific guess"; a tentative assumption made in order to draw out and test its logical or empirical consequences; In the general public, the meaning of "hypothesis" (guess) is often confused with the meaning of "theory" (fact)

I

  • idea  |  noun  |  See mental model; synonymous with mental model
  • identity (i)  |  noun  |  the first-position or "yin" element of the Distinctions (D) rule of DSRP; represented by the variable (i)
  • identity-other  |  noun  |  the base-pair or elements of the Distinctions (D) rule of DSRP
  • individual learning  |  noun  |  a change in mental model; compare culture and Organizational Learning
  • information (I)  |  noun  |  unstructured, often symbolic, inert data that is acted upon by thinking to form meaning (mental models)
  • Integrated Resource Planning  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Interactive planning  |   noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Interdisciplinarity/Transdisciplinarity  |  noun  |  an approach to science that relies on Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation; see Interdisciplinary Thinking
  • Interdisciplinary Thinking  |  noun  |  a type of thinking that assists with engaging 2 or more disciplines in collaboration despite the differences in disciplinary culture, language, customs, history, norms, etc.; DSRP, as an universal cognitive grammar is foundational to interdisciplinary thinking
  • Interpretive systemology  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • iterative  |  adjective  |  taking the output as an input; DSRP structures and dynamics are often called "iterative" because the Information (I) is transformed by the Thinking (T) to create mental models (M) (i.e., an output of the algorithm) which are then fed back into the DSRP algorithm as new informational input

J

  • jigs  |  noun  |  jig /jig/ n. 1 [physical jigs] A device that holds a piece of work and guides the tools operating it in order to provide repeatability, accuracy, and interchangeability in the manufacturing of products. A jig is often confused with a fixture; a fixture holds the work in a fixed location. A device that does both functions (holding the work and guiding a tool) is called a jig. Jigs or templates have been known long before the industrial age. There are many types of jigs, and each one is custom-tailored to do a specific job. Jigs are a form of template in that they can be a shaped piece of metal, wood, card, plastic, or other material used as a pattern for processes such as painting, cutting out, shaping, or drilling. Jigs therefore serve as a model for others to copy. 2 [cognitive jigs] A common conceptual structure or templatic mental model that can be used and reused for a particular cognitive purpose in order to provide repeatability, accuracy, and interchangeability in cognitive tasks. Cognitive Jigs are, to a large extent, content or information agnostic, meaning that any given jig could be used for a variety of cognitive tasks or across a variety of topical areas. Cognitive jigs allow us to not have to “reinvent the wheel” when performing common cognitive tasks. ORIGIN: The term jig is mid-16th century and of unknown origin; the term cognitive jig was coined by Derek Cabrera to communicate the practical and tactile use of cognitive jigs as a way to identify, use, and reuse cognitive patterns (mental models) that are common or repeatedly used. Cabrera gives various discovered jigs common, basic, and memorable names such as “Barbells,” “P-circles,” “R-channels,” and “Part-parties.” Analogies, similes, and metaphors are cognitive jigs. To date, 44 cognitive jigs have been formally identified, but Cabrera estimates there are hundreds (if not thousands) more. Cabrera identifies the degree of content-agnosticism of a jig as an indicator of its universality. The more a jig is content agnostic, the more universal it is, and perhaps the more difficult it is to discover.

K

  • Knowledge  |  noun  |  See mental model; synonymous with mental model; sometimes used erroneously and mistakenly as a synonym of information
  • Knowledge Management  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation

L

  • LAMO thinking  |  noun  |  an acronym that stands for Linear, Anthropocentric, Mechanistic, and Ordered; usually contrasted with DSRP which is used to prevent LAMO Thinking and align better with a VUCA World
  • Learning (L)  |  verb, noun  |  [1] verb. a change in mental model; [2] noun. one of four universal functions of organization; the L in VMCL; Learning refers to the ST Loop process that leads to changes in mental models that better approximate Reality; L is focused entirely on the Capacity (C) function but receives feedback from C, M, and V; Capacity is sometimes referred to as "Re" as in "See, Do, Be, Re" because it is reiterative
  • Litmus  |  noun  |  see checks

M

  • manipulative  |  noun | verb  |  a physicalized or reified object that represents an abstraction that can be manipulated with the hands, eyes, etc.; as in a tactile manipulative or a visual manipulative; ThinkBlocks and DSRP Mapping are based on object-oriented, tactile, visual manipulation; see Cortex Man
  • meaning  |  noun  |  See mental model; synonymous with mental model
  • memes  |  noun  |  the cognitive equivalent of a gene; a fundamental cognitive unit; it is often said that as ATCG is to genes, DSRP is to memes.
  • mental model  |  noun  |  the complex product of Information (I) and Thinking (T); its variable is (M); synonymous with concept, knowledge, meaning, idea, schema
  • Meta-rational Ways of Knowing  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • metacognition  |  noun  |  the scientific term for "thinking about thinking;" DSRP is a general algorithm for metacognition; Systems Thinking (ST) itself could be called "Complex Metacognition"
  • MFS Universe  |  noun  |  the universe that is Systems Thinking (ST) ; developed by Dr. Derek Cabrera to identify the full range and extent of systems thinking methods, approaches, techniques, concepts, scholars, theorists, etc.; MFS stands for "Midgley, Francois, and Schwartz" as Cabrera points out that these three contributions to the field, more adequately than any other, provide the boundary for what comprises systems thinking; Cabrera used this boundaried universe to then propose the universality of DSRP.
  • Mission (M)  |  noun  |  one of four universal functions of organization; the M in VMCL; Mission refers to the repeated actions that organizations must do each day in order to bring about the emergence of Vision (V); Mission is sometimes referred to as "Do" as in "See, Do, Be, Re" because it is an action that, repeated, brings about the organization's Vision.
  • mix and match  |  verb  |  see DSRP dynamics; mix and match is a colloquialism for DSRP Dynamics
  • modal model of mind  |  noun  |  an accepted theory and model of mind (especially that of memory and attention);  DSRP Theory explicates the specifics of what occurs at each step; see map. It is particularly important to note that DSRP changes what information is rendered during the ST Loop
  • molecular  |  adjective  |  used generally to describe something that is a composite of atomic elements and therefore could be broken down further; in DSRP terminology "molecular" usually refers composites of the DSRP elements or "atomic elements"; "molecular" is differentiated from atomic (see atomic) that cannot be broken down further; all jigs, sliders, and mental models are molecular

N

O

  • object-oriented thinking (OOT)  |  noun | verb  |  DSRP Theory provides the basis for a style of thinking that can be termed "object oriented" because each variable is structural and interacts with other structural variables; See also universal visual grammar
  • OODA Loops  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • organization  |  noun | verb  |  [1] noun. a formal or informal entity; usually a group of individuals of some kind; a corporation, company, nonprofit, department, etc.; [2] verb the act of organizing; In VMCL, seeing organizations not only as nouns but also as verbs—constantly evolving, informal, changing, and organized in some way—is a critically important insight.
  • organizational learning  |  noun  |  a change in mental model where the change itself is held in common by a group of individuals or organization; compare culture and Individual Learning
  • other (o)  |  noun  |  the second-position or "yang" element of the Distinctions (D) rule of DSRP; represented by the variable (o)

P

  • Panarchy/Resilience  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • part (p)  |  noun  |  the first-position or "yin" element of the Systems (S) rule of DSRP; represented by the variable (p)
  • part-whole  |  noun  |  the base-pair or elements of the Systems (S) rule of DSRP
  • Participatory Appraisal of Needs and the Development of Action (PANDA)  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • patterns  |  noun  |  repeating events the structure of which is similar; In DSRP, the four D,S,R,P-level structures are also called "patterns of thinking"
  • Patterns of Thinking  |  noun  |  another name for DSRP Theory referencing the four "patterns of thinking:" making Distinctions (D), organizing systems (S), articulating relationships (R), and taking Perspectives (P)
  • PCCU  |  noun  |  An acronym for the traditional mental model(s) of organization that stands for: Plan, Command, Control, and Utilize. The opposite to VMCL
  • Periodization (bias)  |  noun  |  a bias (especially having to do with the 4 Versions of Systems Thinking) where the historical periods are taken as too discrete for to literal
  • Perspectives (P)  |  noun  |  a Perspective (P) is one of four simple rules in DSRP Theory; it states that we take perspectives universally and when we do, those perspectives are comprised of two interacting elements: a point (ρ) and a view (v)
  • physico-cognitive  |  adjective  |  both physical and cognitive; In DSRP, the reference is made to the idea that DSRP is a "physic-cognitive theory" to explain that DSRP applies to real-world, physical material things in the same way that it applies to cognitive things; in this sense, DSRP is a mathematical construct that describes both the phenomena across disciplines.
  • point (ρ)  |  noun  |  the first-position or "yin" element of the Perspectives (P) rule of DSRP; represented by the variable (rho or ρ) so it is not confused with p, the variable for part
  • point of view  |  noun  |  See Perspectives (P)
  • point-view  |  noun  |  the elements of the Perspectives (P) rule of DSRP
  • POSIWID  |  noun  |  an acronym for a phrase coined by Stafford Beer that means, the "Purpose Of a System Is What It Does;" POSIWID is a critically important understanding of systems that paradoxically illustrates both that a system always has a purpose but that "purpose" is not a necessary part of the definition of a system
  • potential  |  noun  |  synonymous with "structural and dynamical potential;" See degrees of freedom
  • probability of alignment  |  noun  |  The purpose of Systems Thinking (ST) and DSRP is to increase the probability of alignment between one's mental model (M) and Reality (R); The variable is denoted P_α; because DSRP Theory is a physico-cognitive theory, it increases the probability of alignment that our mental models better approximate Reality.
  • Prosocial & Emotional Intelligence  |  noun  |  Prosocial and emotional intelligence (EI) are essential 21st century skillsDSRP is foundational to EI and prosocial thinking.  See SRBS article
  • purpose of systems thinking  |  noun  |  to increase the probability of alignment between mental models and reality

Q

R

  • random  |  adjective  |  see Algorithmic Information Content (AIC)
  • reaction (r)  |  noun  |  the second-position or "yang" element of the Relationships (R) rule of DSRP; represented by the variable (r)
  • Reality  |  noun  |  The Real World or some small slice of the Real World; preferably the object of most mental models; can be used as synonymous with observable fact
  • recursive  |  adjective  |  See iterative and DSRP dynamics
  • reify /ˈrēəˌfī/  | verb | to make (something abstract) more concrete or real. To make tactile or visual (tactilization) "these instincts are, in humans, reified as verbal constructs"; Forms include: reifies, reified, reified, reifying, reification. See universal visual grammar (UVG) and grounding
  • Relationships (R)  |  noun  |  a Relationship (R) is one of four simple rules in DSRP Theory; it states that we recognize relationships universally and when we do, those relationships are comprised of two interacting elements: an action (a) and a reaction (r)
  • Russian Systems Methodology  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation

S

  • SAST (strategic assumption surfacing & Testing)  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • schema  |  noun  |  See mental model; synonymous with mental model but sometimes used exclusively for non-human organisms
  • Scientific thinking  |  noun  |  there is much debate about what constitutes “scientific thinking;” many falsely claim that it is based on the “scientific method” despite there being little historical evidence that such a method is used in the discovery of new facts; what can be said is that fundamentally science is no different than the ST Loop,
  • Self-organization  |  noun  |  Self-organization, also called (in the social sciences) spontaneous order, is a process where some form of overall order arises from local interactions between parts of an initially disordered system. The process can be spontaneous when sufficient energy is available, not needing control by any external agent.
  • self-similarity  |  noun  |  the act of organizing or the way something is organized that causes structures to form—usually across various scales— that are similar in their structure or dynamics; DSRP is a fractal and self-similar set of structures; See fractal and DSRP dynamics
  • Sense Making  |  noun  |  an approach to Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • simple rules  |  noun  |  simple rules are those followed by agents that lead to collective dynamics and emergence; DSRP are simple rules of cognition, metacognition, and Systems Thinking (ST) ;  An extremely important concept in DSRP and VMCL which are both simple rules systems; See also complex adaptive systems (CAS) and DSRP Theory;
  • simple/simplicity  |  adjective  |  See effective complexity
  • slider  |  noun  |  1 a small hamburger or other hot sandwich made with a soft bun. 2 [cognitive slider] A cognitive slider is a jig, the use of which is expressly in the domain of personal development or psychological-sociological effectiveness. ORIGIN: The term slider is of unknown origin; the term cognitive slider was coined by Derek Cabrera to communicate “a relatively small, nourishing or ‘meaty’ mental model” for use in increasing one’s prosocial or emotional intelligence. Like jigs, sliders are applicable to a wide array of situations or circumstances, but somewhat different than jigs, sliders tend to assume far more content (less content-agnosticism). They are more specific in their application to the social, psychological realms and particularly useful for what Cabrera calls “DIY personal development”—a modern form of do-it-yourself personal development or psychotherapy loosely based on the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy and situated in: the growing distrust of the objectivity and commercialization of the psychological profession, the growing need for heightened prosocial and emotional intelligence, and the modern DIY movements. Like jigs, Cabrera gives various built sliders common, basic, and memorable names such as “Thinkings & Feelings,” “Analog yourself,” “Good new bad news who knows,” “Dysfunction Magnet,” and “the modified Golden Rule.”
  • Sociotechnical Systems Thinking  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • soft systems methodology (SSM)  |  noun   |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • SOT  |  noun  |  SOT, refers to three levels of military planning that include: Strategic, Operational and Tactical. Generally speaking, operational levels of planning connect the detailed tactical level to a higher level strategy and vision. SOT is, “One of the most useful military concepts for business” and: it provides a frame-work for understanding organizational leadership, dynamics, and management, as well as their interplay in achieving results. The framework also helps to generate optimal alignment between strategy, the operational level plans that break the strategy into manageable pieces, the institutional systems and processes needed to enable successful execution, as well as the tactics, techniques, and procedures that are applied by the organization’s front-line employees and supervisors in their day-to-day jobs and tasks. In simple terms SOT is defined in military doctrine, The Strategic level deals with “WHY and WITH WHAT we will fight and WHY the enemy fights against us...the Operational level of war determines WHAT we will affect, with WHAT courses of action, in WHAT order, for WHAT duration, and with WHAT RESOURCES...the tactical level of war deals with HOW we fight. See SOT paper  
  • ST Iceberg  |  noun  |  a metaphor used in the Systems Thinking (ST) community to differentiate between surface-level or superficial details or events and deeper patterns, structures and mental models that underlie these events; In DSRP, the idea is recursive, meaning that we look not only for events, patterns, structures, and mental models in SYSTEMS, but also in mental models themselves. Information is the superficial level, changes in mental models (I and T) over time are pattern-level, structures are DSRP and its elemental structure, and the mental models are the "meta"-level awareness of one's thinking (i.e., metacognition)
  • ST Loop  |  noun  |  The most important idea in Systems Thinking (ST) and the reason why ST was formally born as a pushback in the ways that science was being practiced. The Systems Thinking  Loop or "ST Loop" is the loop where mental models undergo an evolutionary algorithm by testing against Reality and receiving feedback in the form of Information (I) that then get formed using DSRP into a new mental model (thus changing the mental model and creating Learning). The ST Loop is the algorithm for not only ST but for Science writ large, and human learning.
  • ST Versions  |  noun  |  a metaphor for the versions of Systems Thinking (ST) that is analog to the ST Waves (i.e., The 4th Wave is the same as STv4.0, the 3rd Wave is the same as STv3.0)
  • ST Waves  |  noun  |  (also called versions) a historical metaphor that describes the 4 "waves" of Systems Thinking (ST) 
  • STMI (Systems Thinking and Metacognition Inventory)  |  noun  |  an edumetric validated test for individual skills in Systems Thinking and Metacognition
  • stochastic  |  adjective  |  random; probabilistically random
  • stopping rules  |  noun  |  A cognitive rule, based on a DSRP structure, that, used as a perspective on other DSRP structures, determines when to stop thinking. See Fropping Rules 
  • structural coupling  |  verb | noun  |  that two or more things are grouped in such a way that when one comes so too does the other; DSRP patterns are structurally coupled as are the base-pair elements. In VMCL, structural coupling may refer to "coupling" of the four functions (V,M,C,L)--see coupling and alignment
  • structural prediction  |  noun  |  in a mental model, a prediction of a structural possibility that leads to an informational inquiry, thereby "filling" or not filling said structure with information.
  • structure  |  noun | verb  |  the arrangement and organization of things abstracted from the specifics of the things themselves; DSRP Theory provides for the universal structures (noun) that we use to structure (verb) information (I) and create meaning (mental model)
  • structure determines behavior  |  noun  |  a popular moniker of Systems Thinking (ST) that importantly links the behavior of a system to its underlying structure; Because DSRP Theory is a physico-cognitive theory or "bridge theory," it elucidates this structure in both mental models and in real-world systems; Also, in VMCL, structure determines behavior is intimately tied to the structural Capacity (C) of an organization's system of systems and their ability to drive the behavior of Mission (M).
  • Structured Dialogic Design (SDD)  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • superorganism  |  noun  |  a collection of individual autonomous or semi-autonomous organisms that behave as if they re a single organisms; flock like behavior such as murmuration is a good example of super organism behavior; relevant to the study of CAS
  • Sustainability  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Sustainability Indicators  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • SysEval (Systems Evaluation)  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • system  | noun  | two or more related parts; Note: a "system" is very different in meaning than the term, "System (S)," which is used in DSRP Theory. These are two different uses of the same term. In DSRP, the term System means "the co-implication of the base-pair elements: part-whole"
  • System Dynamics (SD)  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Systemic Innovation  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Systemic Intervention & Boundary Critique  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Systemic processes in organizations  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Systems (S)  |  noun  |  a System (S) is one of four simple rules in DSRP Theory; it states that we organize systems universally and when we do, those systems are comprised of two interacting elements: a part (p) and an whole (w). It is important to note that "a system" has a very different in meaning than the term "System (S)" which is used in DSRP Theory. These are two different uses of the same term. In DSRP, the term System (S) means "the co-implication of the base-pair elements: part-whole" whereas the minimal viable definition of "a system" is simply, "two or more related parts"
  • Systems analysis  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Systems and Futures  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • systems engineering (SE)  |  noun  |  a portmanteau of Systems Thinking (ST) and Engineering that has DSRP as its foundation; part of the Systems Thinking "MFS" Universe
  • Systems Engineering Leadership  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Systems Failure  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • systems leadership  |  noun  |  A relatively new portmanteau field or Systems X that applies a systems lens to leadership and management; includes topics like organizational design, culture, etc.; VMCL is a universal theory of systems leadership that provides differentiates the role of leadership vs management and delineates the litmus checks needed to lead and manage the universal functions of any organization
  • Systems Mapping  |  noun  |  a visual mapping method of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP and universal visual grammar as its foundation
  • systems mapping (SM)  |  noun  |  The visual map or act of visually mapping that is born of DSRP Theory; synonymous with DSRP mapping; See universal visual grammar
  • Systems Modeling  |  noun  |  a framework  of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Systems neuroscience  |  noun  |  a portmanteau of Systems Thinking (ST) and Neuroscience that has DSRP as its foundation; a Systems X; part of the Systems Thinking "MFS" Universe
  • Systems Theory (Bertalanffy)  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Systems Thinking (Capra)  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Systems Thinking (Meadows)  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) mostly aligned with System Dynamics (SD) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • Systems Thinking (ST)  |  noun  |  systems thinking (ST) is an emergent property of the DSRP simple rules
  •  Systems X  |  noun  |  a portmanteau discipline made up of Systems Thinking (ST) and [X] where X could be any existing discipline or topic (e.g., Systems Law, Systems Neurobiology, Systems Engineering, etc)
  • swarm learning  |  noun  |  a for of learning in which student feedback drives the course and is the course

T

  • tactile  |  adjective  |  see Cortex Man
  • tangible  |  adjective  |  see Cortex Man
  • The Philosophy Technology and Social Systems (PTS) model of interdisciplinarity  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • theory  |  noun  |  the general or abstract principles of a body of fact; scientifically accepted general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena; the popular misconception is that "theory" means "guess," which in science is not the case; in science, theory means general principles supported by evidence and facts, usually quite a large and diverse number of facts/studies; In the general public, the meaning of "hypothesis" (guess) is often confused with the meaning of "theory" (fact)
  • Thinking (T)  |  verb noun  |  the act or result of organizing, structuring, or encoding Information (I) by: making Distinctions (D), organizing Systems (S), articulating Relationships (R), and taking many Perspectives (P)
  • Thinkquiry  |  noun  |  The process of using madlib style DSRP structural questions to replace or enhance Who/What/Where/When/Why type questioning
  • types of thinking  |  noun  |  any of various categories or classes of thinking such as creative thinking, analytical thinking, interdisciplinary thinking, Systems Thinking (ST), scientific thinking, holistic thinking, prosocial or emotional intelligence, content mastery, etc.; DSRP is the foundational algorithm for all of these types.

U

  • unintended consequences  |  noun  |  Systemic reactions to predecessor actions or reactions that were not intended by the actor, policy maker, etc.; unintended consequences are usually the result of the web of causality that exists in real-world (natural) systems which is often overlooked or falsely contained by linear causal mental models that assume a 1:1 correspondence between action and effect or that actions and their effects will be close to each other in time (e.g., “neighbors on a timeline” or no delay). In most systems, cause and effect are not neighbors on a timeline and there is delay.
  • universal cognitive grammar (UCG)  |  noun  |  a set of grammatical rules for constructing and deconstructing systems based on the universality of DSRP Theory; UCG is the basis for universal visual grammar; See also systems mapping or DSRP mapping; visualization software like Plectica attempts to capture all the rules of universal cognitive grammar but fails to in its entirety
  • universal visual grammar (UVG)  |  noun  |  a set of grammatical rules for visually diagramming systems based on the universality of DSRP Theory; a.k.a. systems mapping or DSRP mapping; software like Plectica attempts to capture all the rules of universal visual grammar; See also universal cognitive grammar
  • universality  |  noun  |  applicable to a universe of phenomena; true universality means it applies to everything; but the term is used contextually as in Physics TOEs (theory of everything) are universal to everything in Physics or having to do with material, physical phenomena; DSRP is a universal [and material] theory that claims application to everything in the Universe; VMCL is a universal theory of organization that claims application to all complex adaptive organizations (CAO)

V

  • Versions (of Systems Thinking)  |  noun  |  The 4 historical versions of Systems Thinking (also called "waves")
  • Viable Systems Model (VSM)  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation
  • view (v)  |  noun  |  the second-position or "yang" element of the Perspectives (P) rule of DSRP; represented by the variable (v)
  • Vision (V)  |  noun  |  one of four universal functions of organization; the V in VMCL; Vision refers to the binary goal-state of the organization; Vision (V) is an emergent property that is brought about by indirect work on Mission (M), it is not something that you can work directly on; Vision is sometimes referred to as "See" as in "See, Do, Be, Re" because it is a leadership of visualizing the future state or goal.
  • visual  |  adjective, noun  |  See Cortex Man
  • VMCL  |  noun  |  an acronym for a theory discovered by Dr. Derek Cabrera that elucidates the universal functions that characterize organization (verb) and organizations (noun); the four functions are: Vision (V), Mission (M), Capacity (C), and Learning (L)
  • VUCA  |  adjective  |  an acronym developed by the military that means: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous; a good description of how the real-world works, as in a “VUCA-world”; often contrasted with LAMO thinking

W

  • webs of causality  |  noun  |  a web of causality is the systems concept that causality is not linear nor 1:1 correspondent between cause and effect. There are, more-often-than-not, many causes that lead to an effect and many effects that result from a cause.
  • What's-nextism (bias)  |  noun  |  a bias (especially having to do with the 4 Systems Thinking Versions or "waves") in which, having heard (but often not deeply explored or understood) about ST version 4.0 (or any future version) the response is to immediately think of the next "best thing" or the individual's preferred "thing" in systems thinking as the n+1 version.
  • whole (w)  |  noun  |  the second-position or "yang" element of the Systems (S) rule of DSRP; represented by the variable (w)
  • WSR (Chinese systems approach of wuli–shili–renli)  |  noun  |  a framework of Systems Thinking (ST) that has DSRP as its foundation

X

Y

Z