- Norbert Wiener, a mathematician, introduced the term
- Other key people in this field are Warren McCulloch and Jay
- Cybernetics refers to the science of communication and
control in the animal, machine, and society.
- It is the interdisciplinary study of the structure of
- The term cybernetics originated from Greek word ‘kubernetes’
means ‘steering’ and ‘governor’ in Latin.
- Cybernetics is closely related to information theory, systems
theory and control theory.
- It operates on two levels:
- study of an observed system - 1st-order cybernetics.
- study of the people studying a system - 2nd-order
- Cybernetics is defined as the study of systems and processes
that interact with themselves and produce themselves from
- Cybernetics introduces the concept of circularity and
circular causal systems.
- Systems are defined by boundaries.
- Every system has a goal.
- System acts, aims toward the goal.
- Environment affects aim.
- Information returns to system — ‘feedback’.
- System measures difference between state and goal
- Detects ‘error’.
- System corrects action to aim toward goal.
- Cycle repeat.
- Basis of modern communication systems.
- Application in cognitive science for modeling of learning.
- Application in management science.
- Cybernetics is applicable in any discipline relying on
feedback processes including health sciences, sociology and
psychology, which are based on communication process.
Steve J. Heims (1980), John von Neumann and Norbert Wiener: From
Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, 3. Aufl.,
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