# Summary Systems Approach in Animal Sciences (SAAS)

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• ## 1.1 Systems Approach

• What is the starting point for scientific research?
The formulation of a perceived problem into a general problem statement, which in turn leads to the formulation of one or more research hypotheses.
• ## 1.2 Scientific approaches

• Roger Bacons idea about experimental science developed into a scientific approach, which one?
- Separating the perceived problem from its context
- Ceteris Paribus (everything stays the same)

• René Descartes' system concept
- The world acts like a machine
- Break it up into parts and study those parts seperately to understand them
• Reductionistic approach
1. reduction: knowledge of separate elements, leads to know-how
2. determinism: knowledge of sum of the parts/whole
• A reductionistic approach:
zooms in at a problem
• The system approach:
zooms out at a problem
• ## 1.4 The system concept

• A system can be interpreted as a ....
- method of operation
- unit
• Bertalanffy's system concept
- general systems theory
- breaking up in parts leads to a loss of synergy and emergent properties
• Bertanlanffy's definition for a system in the sense of a unit:
A system is an entity, which maintains its existence through mutual interaction of its parts

• The basic characteristics of any system:
- A system consists out of components which are interrelated
- Systems are arranged in a hierarchy
- Synergy among system components creates a whole that is more than the sum of its parts. The special properties of this system aas a result of synergy are called emergent properties.
- Systems have a boundary.
- Systems have inputs, processes, outputs, and feedback loops.
- The process of homeostasis acts to bring a system back to equilibrium when external forces disturb it.

• ## 1.5 System hierarchy: subsystems, systems and supra systems

• Inputs and outputs in a systems are not equal because the system needs ...
maintenance
• Hierarchy in systems:
suprasystem-system-subsystem
• ## 1.6 System boundary

• Systems are considered systems because ....
The choice of boundary depends on our point of view
• ## 1.7 Homeostasis and feedback

• Homeostatis is ....
the maintenance of an equilibrium
• Negative-feedback mechanism control the stat of the system by
dampening or reducing the size of system's elements or attributes

• Positive-feedback mechanisms
feed or increase the size of one or more of the systems elements or attributes over time