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Q: paradigm shifts ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: paradigm shifts
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: kababik-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 13 Nov 2002 07:39 PST
Expires: 13 Dec 2002 07:39 PST
Question ID: 106863
Does a “paradigm shift” refer to institutions only (like education) or
can it refer to an individual having a “paradigm shift” (such as a
personal change in one’s concept about God)?
Subject: Re: paradigm shifts
Answered By: morningstar2000-ga on 13 Nov 2002 07:49 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Good Morning Kababik – 
	Thank you for your question.    The following definition is taken
from Paradigm Shifts

“To understand the concept of a paradigm shift, you must first
understand what a paradigm is. In The Structure of Scientific
Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn argued that a paradigm is a set of beliefs,
theories, or a world view that is unquestioningly accepted. A paradigm
is a way of seeing the world that has become established as "truth."
Kuhn argued that "normal science" consists of merely adding more
bricks to the paradigm which support and reaffirm the world view.”

    Paradigms happen in all aspects of life, technology, business, and
industry.  The paradigm is a set of beliefs or core values.   When
something happens to disrupt that believe then society at large must
adapt to it.    Once a majority believes in the new set of core values
then you get the shift from one set of assumptions to the next.   They
happen every day.

Additional Resources:

Paradigm Shifts


Search Strategy:
Paradigm Shift

Thank You, 

Request for Answer Clarification by kababik-ga on 13 Nov 2002 14:38 PST
Can an individual have a paradigm shift or does it have to be a large
group such as an institution? If an individual can’t have a paradigm
shift then what it is called when the individual experiences a chance
of assumptions about his/her world. When Copernicus figured out that
we were not the center of the universe did he have a personal paradigm
shift? I need to know what it is called when one’s personal view of
his/her world changes.Your research so far only tells me what a
paradigm shift is. Not if individuals can have them.
You answer so far is great but doesn't answer the heart of my
Thank you,

Clarification of Answer by morningstar2000-ga on 13 Nov 2002 15:24 PST
Dear Kababik - 
     I did not mean to limit the thought there.  Yes, you as a person
have a certian set of beliefs and thought structures.    The Paradigm
itself is that set of beliefs.  IE..  Being brought up in a catholic
house and learning a certain set of beliefs about God.   Later in life
one can learn more from others( thus being the catalist for the shift
) and changes ones view of the world.   This would be a your personal
pardigm shift but also a shift in the whole process of the universe.

  According to the usage file at
  " Since the 1960s, paradigm has been used in science to refer to a
theoretical framework, as when Nobel Laureate David Baltimore cited
the work of two colleagues that “really established a new paradigm for
our understanding of the causation of cancer.” Thereafter, researchers
in many different fields, including sociology and literary criticism,
often saw themselves as working in or trying to break out of
paradigms. Applications of the term in other contexts show that it can
sometimes be used more loosely to mean “the prevailing view of things
    In summary I believe that you have a certain set of beliefs and
core values(paradigm) and if they change there has been a paradigm

Additional Resources:

Pardigm Studies

Hope that helps, 
kababik-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
thank you

Subject: Re: paradigm shifts
From: neilzero-ga on 13 Nov 2002 12:56 PST
The definition seems reasonable except society at large = majority
should perhaps be redefined to more than a million people, as getting
several million people to agree strongly on any ten things is rare. I
should think a paradigum typically is ten or more beliefs. Changes in
wishy-washy beliefs likely has little to do with paradigm shifts. But
8 out of 12 may sometimes be close enough to call an individual part
of a paradigm shift.   Neil
Subject: Re: paradigm shifts
From: pinkfreud-ga on 14 Nov 2002 10:37 PST
I have often heard "paradigm shift" used in a personal sense. In
referring to an abrupt, revelatory shift of one's values or beliefs,
the word "epiphany" would also be appropriate.

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