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Article

The “Fish Tank” Experiments: Metacognitive Awareness of Distinctions, Systems, Relationships, and Perspectives (DSRP) Significantly Increases Cognitive Complexity

by 1,2,*,†, 1,2,† and 2,†
1
Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy, Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
2
Cabrera Research Lab, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: William T. Scherer
Systems 2022, 10(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10020029
Received: 26 November 2021 / Revised: 14 January 2022 / Accepted: 19 January 2022 / Published: 4 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Complex Systems)
In the field of systems thinking, there are far too many opinioned frameworks and far too few empirical studies. This could be described as a “gap” in the research but it is more like a dearth in the research. More theory and empirical validation of theory are needed if the field and the phenomenon of systems thinking holds promise and not just popularity. This validation comes in the form of both basic (existential) and applied (efficacy) research studies. This article presents efficacy data for a set of empirical studies of DSRP Theory. According to Cabrera, Cabrera, and Midgley, DSRP Theory has equal or more empirical evidence supporting it than any existing systems theories (including frameworks, which are not theories). Four separate studies show highly statistically relevant findings for the effect of a short (less than one minute) treatment of D, S, R, and P. Subjects’ cognitive complexity and the systemic nature of their thinking increased in all four studies. These findings indicate that even a short treatment in DSRP is effective in increasing systems thinking skills. Based on these results, a longer, more in-depth treatment—such as a one hour or semester long training, such is the norm—would therefore likely garner transformative results and efficacy. View Full-Text
Keywords: metacognition; universals; cognitive complexity; systems thinking; DSRP Theory; material complexity; systems science metacognition; universals; cognitive complexity; systems thinking; DSRP Theory; material complexity; systems science
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cabrera, D.; Cabrera, L.; Cabrera, E. The “Fish Tank” Experiments: Metacognitive Awareness of Distinctions, Systems, Relationships, and Perspectives (DSRP) Significantly Increases Cognitive Complexity. Systems 2022, 10, 29. https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10020029

AMA Style

Cabrera D, Cabrera L, Cabrera E. The “Fish Tank” Experiments: Metacognitive Awareness of Distinctions, Systems, Relationships, and Perspectives (DSRP) Significantly Increases Cognitive Complexity. Systems. 2022; 10(2):29. https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10020029

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cabrera, Derek, Laura Cabrera, and Elena Cabrera. 2022. "The “Fish Tank” Experiments: Metacognitive Awareness of Distinctions, Systems, Relationships, and Perspectives (DSRP) Significantly Increases Cognitive Complexity" Systems 10, no. 2: 29. https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10020029

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