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Ethics in Modeling

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27 May 1994
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
276 pages - 156 x 234 x 17mm


The use of mathematical models to support decision-making is proliferating in both the public and private sectors. Advances in computer technology and greater opportunities to learn the appropriate techniques are extending modelling capabilities to more and more people. As powerful decision aids, models can be both beneficial or harmful. At present, few safeguards exist to prevent model builders or users from deliberately, carelessly, or recklessly manipulating data to further their own ends. Perhaps more importantly, few people understand or appreciate that harm can be caused when builders or users fail to recognise the values and assumptions on which a model is based or fail to take into account all the groups who would be affected by a model's results. This volume provides a setting for a dialogue about ethics and shows the need to continue and define a vocabulary for exploring ethical concerns. It will become increasingly important for model builders and users to have a clear and strong code of ethics to guide them in making the ethical decisions they surely will have to face.
Acknowledgements. Introduction. How Do the Construction and/or Interpretation of Models Affect Our Decisions? Uses of modeling in science and society (J. Allison et al.). An epistemological view of decision aid technology with emphasis on expert systems (H.D. Carrier, W.A. Wallace). Models in the public sector: success, failure, and ethical behavior (J.M. Mulvey). How Do Values Become Incorporated in Models? Rhetoric and rigor in macroeconomic models: populist and orthodox swings in Latin America (P.D. McNelis). Ethical and modeling considerations in correcting the results of the 1990 decennial census (S.E. Fienberg). The role of models in managerial decision making, never say the model says (V.P. Barabba). What Are the Ethical Responsibilities of Model Builders? From model building to risk management: evolving standards of professional responsibility (N.P. Ross, S. Harris). On model building (J.D.C. Little). Morality and models (R.O. Mason). One-sided practice, can we do better? (J. Rosenhead). Where Do We Go from Here? Ethical concerns and ethical answers (S.I. Gass). Responsible policy modeling (W.E. Walker). Society's role in the ethics of modeling (E.H. Leet, W.A. Wallace). Appendix A: Authors. Appendix B: Ethics in Modeling Workshop agenda. Appendix C: Ethics in Modeling Workshop Participants. Author Index. Subject Index.

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