1 Uncertainty and Surprise: An Introduction

  • Reuben R. McDaniel
  • Dean J. Driebe
Section I Introduction to Uncertainty and Surprise
Part of the Understanding Complex Systems book series (UCS)


Much of the traditional scientific and applied scientific work in the social and natural sciences has been built on the supposition that the unknowability of situations is the result of a lack of information. This has led to an emphasis on uncertainty reduction through ever-increasing information seeking and processing, including better measurement and observational instrumentation. Pending uncertainty reduction through better information, efforts are devoted to uncertainty management and hierarchies of controls. A central goal has been the avoidance of surprise.


West Nile Virus Fitness Landscape Complex Adaptive System Complexity Science Uncertainty Management 
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Authors and Affiliations

  • Reuben R. McDaniel
    • 1
  • Dean J. Driebe
    • 2
  1. 1.McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin 
  2. 2.The Ilya Prigogine Center for Studies in Statistical Mechanics and Complex Systems, The University of Texas at Austin 

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