Publication 296

Scott B. (2008) Observing selves and others: Outline of a methodology. In: Trappl R. (ed.) Cybernetics and Systems 2008. Proceedings of the 19th European meeting on cybernetics and systems research. Austrian Society for Cybernetic Studies, Vienna: 630–635. Fulltext at https://cepa.info/296
Following the work of von Foerster, Pask and others concerned with characterising what is an ‘observing system’ and what is it for observing systems to converse with one another, the paper sets out a conceptual framework and methodology for investigating the interaction and interpersonal perceptions of participants in social groups. The conceptual framework makes clear the combinational complexity that arises as the number of participants increases, illustrating both the limits and challenges faced by participants wishing to engage in effective interaction, and shows the limits and challenges faced by experimental observer working to investigate the self and other observation that is taking place. A methodology for investigations of dyadic relations, Laing, Phillipson and Lee’s ‘Inter-Personal Method’ (IPM), is described. The possible extension of the IPM to investigate interactions between social organisations and between triads of participants is briefly outlined

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