Jay Teachman

Jay Teachman nsIn sociological thermodynamics, Jay Teachman (c.1950-) is an American sociologist noted for his 1980 article “Analysis of Population Diversity: Measures of Quantitative Variation”, in which he uses a reformulation of American electrical engineer Claude Shannon’s 1948 information entropy as a measure or index of social diversity. [1] This logic has come to be known as the “Teachman index” or Teachman/Shannon/Entropy index”. [2] The index has since been applied to the study of variables such as gender or religious diversity.

American sociologist Kenneth Bailey calls Teachman’s theory a “proportional reduction of uncertainty” (PRU) interpretation of entropy and notes that a similar PRU interpretation was done by American sociologist Patrick Horan (1975) who applied entropy to the study of the structure of teaching opportunities in academic departments. [3]

1. Teachman, Jay D. (1980). “Analysis of Population Diversity: Measures of Quantitative Variation.” (abstract) Sociological Methods and Research, Vol. 8, No. 3, pgs. 341-62.
2. Konrad, Alison M, Prasad, Pushkala, Pringle, Judith, K. (2006). Handbook of Workplace Diversity (pgs. 206-07). Sage Publications.
3. (a) Bailey, Kenneth D. (1990). Social Entropy Theory (pg. 73). New York: State University of New York Press.
(b) Horan, Patrick M. (1975). “Information-theoretic Measures and the Analysis of Social Structures”, Sociological Methods and Research, Vol. 3, pgs. 321-40.
(c) Patrick M. Horan (faculty) – Institute for Behavioral Research, University of Georgia.

External links
‚óŹ Jay D. Teachman (faculty) – Western Washington University.

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