The research topic takes up the issue of collective behaviour within a Global Information System, and a relating question of human rationality. The first issue is still new and unexplored. The interests in the area of information systems have concentrated mainly on technological aspects so far. If the human component were taken into account, it has been analysed from the level of an individual. So have all new concepts of rationality. However, globalisation and virtualisation of human activity denote the growth of dispersed collectivities, which nature we have to fully comprehend.
The detailed project objectives are included in 3 basic groups: theoretical, methodological and empirical, and arise from the following research questions:
1. Is collective behaviour a phenomenon of exclusively qualitative nature, impossible to structure?
2. Does irrationality and unpredictability of individual actions determine irrationality and unpredictability of the whole social system?
3. Is there a research method allowing to identify and analyse a phenomenon of "social rationality", from its theoretical to methodological to empirical dimension?
The research method consists of the following stages: identification-analysis-synthesis-exemplification-verification-interpretation-discussion. A model exemplification of a Global Information System is a modern, electronic stock exchange, because the performance of capital markets is a typical example of crowd reactions.
The project is multidisciplinary and intersectorial, so it addresses plenty of the ERA objectives contained in FP6. These include the enhancement of one of the most recent priorities of the ERA: the strengthening and structuring the social sciences at the EU level. The anticipated findings will help formulate a new paradigm o f rationality, which could respond to the integration and globalisation trends of modern societies. This will help us overcome the social barriers arising from historical differences among nations.
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