# How to use mathematical equations to predict people? History of equations?

by 27Thousand
Tags: equations, history, mathematical, people, predict
 P: 89 I'm interested in if anyone here knows any general principles of how mathematical equations are developed, and turned into something useful? For example, Newton's equations were extremely useful for Physics. The same is true about many equations in other disciplines. Any helpful information here? As far as where I'm coming from, do scientists just personally watch what they want to study and try to visualize equations in their minds, or do they more take segments of equations that already exist and combine them together? What's the most effective method? I was thinking it would be way cool to develop some equations to predict people? Especially individuals would be nice. This could be used for "technology" and to make the world a better place from that segment! Sounds useful! As many here probably know, in the experimental-control section of social sciences, they mostly only use null hypothesis testing or bayesian statistics, but I don't see too much falsifying equations designed specifically to predict. They of course make general explanations/observable principles to make predictions, but not equations to do so. Then outside of the experimental-control section, they mostly use statistics just to describe, but of course as I said not much as far as using to predict. So maybe they can have much more of that in the social sciences? Although maybe not as precise as physics, maybe instead equations that give a general confidence interval after being given several variables. Having a statistics minor I know that they sometimes use "Multivariate Statistics" in the social sciences, although I think it's more for groups than individuals. It's kind of like the Y predicting the X in algebra, but instead you have many many independent Y variable predicting a dependent X variable. Maybe if I track down my R computer programming they use, plus my notes, and then look at peer-review studies and their results sections, maybe I can brainstorm human mathematical equations that we could make falsifiable? Now I'm excited! Although it will most definitely not be apple pie Need input! Who has information on mathematics and what determines if an equation in Science becomes useful? How do they generally evolve to become that way? Do scientists observe and brainstorm, or look at existing equations and play around until they get what they want, a combination of both, or what goes on?
 P: 943 maybe this would be a good place to start: http://books.google.com/books?id=RNw...age&q=&f=false there's a similar chapter with references & the same title in the same author's "mathematical thought from ancient to modern times" which goes into some other stuff like descarte's rationalist philosophy & galileo's creation of the function concept
 PF Patron P: 3,949 maybe someday, something like this will be used for predicting people: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hodgkin...93Huxley_model Or maybe it will be used to verify a simpler model that links directly to decision-making.
HW Helper
P: 3,682

## How to use mathematical equations to predict people? History of equations?

 P: 1,295 If you can define all the input variables, it should be possible to come up with an equation using statistical methods. I think you need define variables before coming up with any meaningful equation. P.S. I am working on two similar problems where I need to use historical data along with current inputs to determine the target state. It's some simple math but interesting enough.
 P: 348 The first thing that came to mind was neural networks, artificial intelligence and fuzzy logic. These principles could be used to model humans, I would think.
 P: 138 27Thousand, There is a classic example of the marriage of the very human field of Economics to the classical laws of Thermodynamics... see; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Samuelson More recently, the chaos-theory / fuzzy-logic people at Santa Fe have expounded on the same subject... see; http://homepage.newschool.edu/~foleyd/econthermo.pdf And of course, (as mentioned by CRGreathouse) there are Asimov's great Foundation Series of novels which revolve around social predictions based on the mathematics-based "science" of Psychohistory in a future Galactic Empire.
P: 89
 Quote by fourier jr maybe this would be a good place to start: http://books.google.com/books?id=RNw...age&q=&f=false there's a similar chapter with references & the same title in the same author's "mathematical thought from ancient to modern times" which goes into some other stuff like descarte's rationalist philosophy & galileo's creation of the function concept
fourier jr, I've found that link on Galileo/Newton and how mathematical equations gave them an edge over competition very interesting.

As far as being able to make equations for behavior, check this out from the U.S. National Institutes of Health. I think it's interesting!

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...-85-02-02-f02/

The link and graph have two equations to measure how the strength of behavior reinforcement is affected with time delay. Although this equation was for pigeons, they've come up with similar for humans, just weaker but still good. Maybe similar equations can be made for other basic areas of behavior? Then for the complex areas of behavior we could try the:
Predictive Modeling http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predictive_modeling
Predictive Analytics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predictive_analytics
discussed posts above? Then we could use Isaac Newton's style to combine parts of already existing concepts in unique and useful ways to innovate!

It could be used to make the world a better place! Think technology and engineering
 HW Helper P: 2,274 Look for Kenneth Train's books for Consumer Behavior, and look for Thursgood papers in Psychometrics. There are a lot of attempts at formulating behavioral models. However, for dating? I don't know.
P: 89
 Quote by Cyclovenom Look for Kenneth Train's books for Consumer Behavior, and look for Thursgood papers in Psychometrics. There are a lot of attempts at formulating behavioral models. However, for dating? I don't know.
Thanks a lot for those sources!

Since this is the General Discussions forum, I try to keep my dating equation thoughts to the Relationships forum, and just talk about human equations in general here. Although that topic is extremely extremely interesting, I have to keep dating to the other forum (at least a PF Mentor suggested).
P: 2,824
 Quote by 27Thousand How awesome would it be if you could predict whether attractive members of the opposite sex are flirting with you, and even have an equation for it
If you can not tell whether somebody is flirting with you, I am not surprised that the perspective of having an equation for it appears "awesome" to you. It occurred to me that people I could have a healthy relationship with are also those for whom I would not need such an equation to tell whether they are flirting with me.
 P: 89 Now I found this interesting: Online Tutorials on Mathematical Psychology http://www.mathpsyc.uni-bonn.de/tutorials.htm I didn't even know that existed, but there's a field in psychology that works on creating mathematical models to explain/predict! Wow! So as far as being creative goes, Newton took others' mathematical ideas and then combined them in unique/useful ways. I need to use R computer language for Statistics to teach myself the different techniques on that Mathematical Website link, then I'll use playful imagination to see what I can come up with!
P: 478
 Quote by 27Thousand Now I found this interesting: Online Tutorials on Mathematical Psychology http://www.mathpsyc.uni-bonn.de/tutorials.htm I didn't even know that existed, but there's a field in psychology that works on creating mathematical models to explain/predict! Wow!
And they are used in many other fields, when human behaviour needs to be quantified.

I had to look at a few examples in the past, and found that these models explain and predict the behaviour of a group of many humans, but cannot give any precise prediction in the behaviour of one of them (which is kind of normal).

Cheers
P: 89
 Quote by fatra2 And they are used in many other fields, when human behaviour needs to be quantified. I had to look at a few examples in the past, and found that these models explain and predict the behaviour of a group of many humans, but cannot give any precise prediction in the behaviour of one of them (which is kind of normal). Cheers
Sorry if I'm confusing, what I meant was I knew Psychometrics and then also many Statistical Methods exist (minor in Statistics). I just didn't know there was an actual field named Mathematical Psychology.

In answer to individuals, I wonder if you can combine randomized experimental-control followed with the ABA experimental design or the reverse to get a method that gets the best of both worlds, both studying cause-effect plus individual patterns?

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