Sorry for the delay – I seem to have missed the October update. At the start of October I was in Vienna (how wonderful is that!) giving a keynote address at the IACCM conference (THAT is how wonderful it is). http://iaccm2015.sietar.at/presentations/Wallis%20Steve_Keynote.pdf and meeting with wonderful people including Barbara Venegas, Michael Muller-Camen, and the esteemed Gerhard Fink (who somehow manages to stay slim, despite his wife’s amazingly delicious cooking). And, collaborating with Chiara Cannavale on a presentation on cross-cultural entrepreneurship: http://iaccm2015.sietar.at/presentations/Cannavale%20Chiara-Wallis%20Steve.pdf
Now, back home and recovered from a cold I picked up along the way (NOT so wonderful). And working like crazy to advance a number of projects. As usual, papers and PPTs are available on request….
First, I will be presenting at the Science of Laws conference on November 7th: http://www.scienceoflaws.org/ Key here is to suggest that IPA be adopted as an ISO standard for evaluating (and improving) laws before they are enacted.
Next, Bernadette Wright and I will be presenting a paper and conducting a workshop focused on how to use the ASK MATT game in the classroom. By engaging in the co-creation of useful knowledge, we expect that students will learn faster and become more engaged. We hope you will join us in Portland! http://www.apsanet.org/tlc
Based on our award winning paper “Strategic Knowledge Mapping: The Co-creation of Useful Knowledge,” The ASK MATT game provides a fun and engaging way for students to reflect on knowledge gained in a course and integrate that knowledge with their existing knowledge. This kind of reflection supports long term retention. We have been finding great success and growing interest in this game by managers, students, and researchers. Players become deeply interested in the process and report being very excited by the process and the resulting map. Metaphorically, this conceptual map is like a navigational map that includes cities and roads. We know a map is more useful when it shows more cities to visit and more roads connecting those cities (thus providing more navigational options). During the game, players write relevant concepts onto cards and place them on the table. They also place “causeways” showing how those concepts are connected. As play progresses, participants co-create a map consisting of concepts and casual connections. With each turn, players vote on the validity of the perspectives and points are scored based on the structure of the map. Researchers have long accepted that our minds contain “nomological networks.” Over the past few decades, empirical research using “Integrative Complexity” and “Integrative Propositional Analysis” has shown that when knowledge is more structured it is more useful for practical application in the real world. Those managers and politicians whose communicated understanding is more structured tend to be more successful. Also, the application of policies and theories tends to be more successful when the policies and theories have a higher level of structure. And, students who exhibit more structured understanding of course material tend to have higher scores. That research presents some problems. First, it is problematic to analyze the thinking of each student to determine the level of structure. Second, it is difficult to know if students will retain the knowledge in a way that will help them to be successful in the real world. In order to achieve a higher score, students must create a map that is more structured. Most players see quite quickly how they can “game” the system to more easily achieve a higher score. For this game, that is perfectly acceptable because that approach leads players to create a more structured map! Using the map as a conceptual and visual aid opens a variety of interesting directions for classroom interaction and learning. As the game is played, a teacher or facilitator can learn to easily identify “blank spaces” on the map and ask questions of the class to guide their investigations. The map can also provide a springboard for further conceptual inquiries. For example, a student might place a highly complex concept which may later be the subject of another map. Also, teams of students focusing on different course topics might make separate maps – which may then be combined to a larger map. Alternatively, small groups of students might create a number of maps based on the same topic – which would be followed by comparison and conversation around the similarities and differences between the maps. Importantly, because the map is based on causal relationships and measurable concepts, it is immediately applicable in the real world. Therefore, it is also be useful for supporting student collaboration on projects outside the classroom. As we apply this game, we continue to refine it. While it is not currently available for direct sale, we are interested in receiving feedback from educators as we investigate opportunities to customize the game for universities and schools.
And… along the way… there are a couple of papers now in print:
Entrepreneurship paper published on SAGE open: http://sgo.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/5/3/2158244015604190.pdf?ijkey=1fV4XtvXehaA88V&keytype=finite
Wallis, S. (2015). Integrative Propositional Analysis: A New Quantitative Method for Evaluating Theories in Psychology. Review of General Psychology, Vol 19(3), 365-380.
Special Section: Metatheorizing in Psychology: Historical, Philosophical, and Cultural Perspectives. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/gpr0000048
That study suggests that IPA be adopted by journals as a way to evaluate submissions. Naturally, some preference should be given to submissions whose theories have higher Complexity and Systemicity. Noting the weaknesses of theories in psychology is particularly relevant given other recent papers. One showing how publication bias has led us to believe that our practices in psychology were much more effective than they really are. Second, that research in psychology is nowhere near as replicable as we had hoped. All in all, from my perspective, we have a lot of opportunity for improvement!
Oh yes…. IPA is part of (at least) three grant applications relating to Europe’s EU2020 strategy. Some of the verbiage: The SDDs [strategic plans] will be subject to an additional level of analysis using Integrative Propositional Analysis (IPA). IPA is used for objectively evaluating and developing the structure of those kinds of “knowledge maps” and improving their potential for successful application and assessment (Wallis, 2015. The science of conceptual systems: A progress report. Foundations of Science – in press) including applications within the 2020 strategy (Cotae, 2015. Regional performance in the context of a transition towards the circular economy: Structuring the Assessment Framework, Ecoforum, Vol.4, Special Issue 1). Using IPA, SDDs will be optimized for implementation. The “maps” generated by IPA will provide: a range of interconnected options for immediate implementation, leverage points for achieving the highest goals at the lowest cost, feedback loops to support ongoing success, common space for coordinating activities among stakeholders, transparency for measuring progress.
So, in summary, things are moving forward in a lot of interesting directions. I really appreciate your support!
Steven E. Wallis, Ph.D.
Fulbright Specialist – Consulting on strategy, theory, and policy
Meaningful Evidence, LLC
Play ASK MATT to improve your strategy, policy, and theory