Theoretical and Empirical Modeling of Identity and Sentiments in Collaborative Groups (THEMIS.COG) was an interdisciplinary research collaboration of computer scientists and social scientists from the University of Waterloo (Canada), Potsdam University of Applied Sciences (Germany), and Dartmouth College (USA). This white paper summarizes the results of our research at the end of the grant term. Funded by the Trans-Atlantic Platform’s Digging Into Data initiative, the project aimed at theoretical and empirical modeling of identity and sentiments in collaborative groups. Understanding the social forces behind self-organized collaboration is important because technological and social innovations are increasingly generated through informal, distributed processes of collaboration, rather than in formal organizational hierarchies or through market forces. Our work used a data-driven approach to explore the social psychological mechanisms that motivate such collaborations and determine their success or failure. We focused on the example of GitHub, the world’s current largest digital platform for open, collaborative software development. In contrast to most, purely inductive contemporary approaches leveraging computational techniques for social science, THEMIS.COG followed a deductive, theory-driven approach. We capitalized on affect control theory, a mathematically formalized theory of symbolic interaction originated by sociologist David R. Heise and further advanced in previous work by some ofmore »
Theoretical Perspectives of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study: Conceptual Evolution in a Social–Ecological Research Project
Abstract The Earth's population will become more than 80% urban during this century. This threshold is often regarded as sufficient justification for pursuing urban ecology. However, pursuit has primarily focused on building empirical richness, and urban ecology theory is rarely discussed. The Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) has been grounded in theory since its inception and its two decades of data collection have stimulated progress toward comprehensive urban theory. Emerging urban ecology theory integrates biology, physical sciences, social sciences, and urban design, probes interdisciplinary frontiers while being founded on textbook disciplinary theories, and accommodates surprising empirical results. Theoretical growth in urban ecology has relied on refined frameworks, increased disciplinary scope, and longevity of interdisciplinary interactions. We describe the theories used by BES initially, and trace ongoing theoretical development that increasingly reflects the hybrid biological–physical–social nature of the Baltimore ecosystem. The specific mix of theories used in Baltimore likely will require modification when applied to other urban areas, but the developmental process, and the key results, will continue to benefit other urban social–ecological research projects.
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 297 to 314
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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