The Communication of Expectations and Individual Understanding: Redundancy as Reduction of Uncertainty, and the Processing of Meaning

Kybernetes 43(9/10) (2014) 1362-1371

17 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2013 Last revised: 9 Jan 2015

Loet Leydesdorff

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)

Mark Johnson

University of Bolton

Inga Ivanova

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Date Written: March 17, 2014

Abstract

Purpose: This paper presents the case for an analysis of communication at the supra-individual level as a means of rendering the understanding of learning and acting tractable. We introduce a method of analysis of redundancy to achieve this.

Approach: We argue for a supra-individual approach to acting, learning, and understanding against focusing on an individual or quasi-transcendental ‘observer.’ The argument is outlined in four steps: (1) articulation of the dynamics of the communication system; (2) consideration of the redundancies of expectations within communication; (3) the computation of anticipation which enables us to model meaning processing; (4) the feedback of meaning processing on information processing can be measured as redundancy. Anticipated future states can reflexively drive reconstructions in meaning-processing systems.

Implications: The social system can be considered as a symbolic order of coordination mechanisms. Reflexive agency can access this order and partake in it. However, expectations and their structures do not “exist,” but remain uncertain with the status of hypotheses. Historical embodiment in intentional action is structurally coupled to the order of expectations. The historical instantiations condition and enable the further development of the expectations as a retention mechanism.

Originality/value: The modeling and measurement of meaning processing in terms of inversion of the arrow of time and the generation of redundancy provide extensions to the mathematical theory of communication.

Keywords: intersubjectivity, anticipatory systems, codification, expectation, meaning, redundancy

Suggested Citation

Leydesdorff, Loet and Johnson, Mark and Ivanova, Inga, The Communication of Expectations and Individual Understanding: Redundancy as Reduction of Uncertainty, and the Processing of Meaning (March 17, 2014). Kybernetes 43(9/10) (2014) 1362-1371. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2358791 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2358791

Loet Leydesdorff (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) ( email )

PO Box 15793
Amsterdam, 1001 NG
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.leydesdorff.net

Mark Johnson

University of Bolton ( email )

Deane Road
Bolton, BL3 5AB
United Kingdom

Inga Ivanova

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

20 Myasnitskaya St.
Moscow, 101000
Russia

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