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Chaos and Complexity in Psychology
The Theory of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems


Stephen J. Guastello, Larry S. Liebovitch, William Sulis, Tullio Minelli, Robert A. M. Gregson, D. J. Aks, Patrice Renaud, Sylvain Chartier, Guillaume Albert, Geoff Hollis, Heidi Kloos, Guy C. Van Orden, Paul van Geert, Erika S. Lunkenheimer, Thomas J. Dishion, Wolfgang Tschacher, Uli Junghan, David Pincus, Robin R. Vallacher, Andrej Nowak, Kevin Dooley, Peter Allen, Terrill Frantz, Kathleen Carley, Matthijs Koopmans
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  • Date Published: February 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521887267

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About the Authors
  • While many books have discussed methodological advances in nonlinear dynamical systems theory (NDS), this volume is unique in its focus on NDS's role in the development of psychological theory. After an introductory chapter covering the fundamentals of chaos, complexity and other nonlinear dynamics, subsequent chapters provide in-depth coverage of each of the specific topic areas in psychology. A concluding chapter takes stock of the field as a whole, evaluating important challenges for the immediate future. The chapters are written by experts in the use of NDS in each of their respective areas, including biological, cognitive, developmental, social, organizational and clinical psychology. Each chapter provides an in-depth examination of theoretical foundations and specific applications and a review of relevant methods. This edited collection represents the state of the art in NDS science across the disciplines of psychology.

    • Concise introductory chapter that covers basic NDS principles and their interrelationship
    • Authors devote attention to methods used to produce substantive results without mathematical skill
    • Offers clearly defined vocabulary of NDS terminology and a rich array of examples of how they can be used
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Just as did Henri Bergson's L'Evolution Créatrice in 1907, James Gleick's Chaos in 1987 crystallized a community of concern for nonlinear dynamic systems. Major progress thereafter is documented in this collection of essays. The term 'nonlinear' designates any departure from the bedrock of human experience in linear causality and expresses the fact that, while there is neither a single nonlinear science, nor can there be, there is mutual enrichment. The fundamental insight endures, that given the right initial conditions, order emerges from disorder in defiance of the laws of thermodynamics. These chapters provide a new set of initial conditions for the growth of shared knowledge and competence among scholars addressing 'NDS' in psychology.' Walter J. Freeman, University of California, Berkeley

    'This collection of articles by leaders in the field shows how psychology is poised to move beyond the linear, static models of the past to a deeper understanding of complex and chaotic human behavior.' Julien Clinton Sprott, University of Wisconsin, Madison

    'The sciences of complexity constitute a source of ideas, methods, and ways of thinking that can deepen understanding of psychology's defining problems. The essential first step in drawing upon this source is relinquishing the conventional metaphors of psychology inherited from philosophy, neurology, and human artifacts, and embracing, in their stead, the metaphor of self-organization - of systems and behaviors composing themselves as they proceed. For psychologists of all stripes, the chapters in this volume give ample reasons for considering this first step and, if they are inclined to take it, ample encouragement to travel further.' Michael T. Turvey, University of Connecticut and Haskins Laboratories

    'This is an excellent, very useful book. The editors have assembled a stellar international cast of leaders in nonlinear dynamics and psychology, and the book provides both broad and deep coverage of 'hot' areas of contemporary theory and research. Generous and current reference sections, a well-written introductory chapter, and the rigor of the individual contributions combine to make this book useful as a graduate-level text and as a resource for veterans in the field.' David Schuldberg, University of Montana, Missoula

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521887267
    • length: 552 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 35 mm
    • weight: 0.98kg
    • contains: 65 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction to nonlinear dynamics and complexity Stephen J. Guastello and Larry S. Liebovitch
    2. Collective intelligence: observations and models William Sulis
    3. Neurodynamics and electro-cortical activity Tullio Minelli
    4. Psychophysics Robert A. M. Gregson
    5. Temporal patterns in perceptual behavior: implications for dynamics structure D. J. Aks
    6. Embodied and embedded: the dynamics of extracting perceptual visual invariants Patrice Renaud, Sylvain Chartier and Guillaume Albert
    7. Origins of order in cognitive activity Geoff Hollis, Heidi Kloos and Guy C. Van Orden
    8. Nonlinear dynamical systems in developmental psychology Paul van Geert
    9. Developmental psychopathology: maladaptive and adaptive attractors in children's close relationships Erika S. Lunkenheimer and Thomas J. Dishion
    10. Psychopathology: a nonlinear systems view Wolfgang Tschacher and Uli Junghan
    11. Coherence, complexity, and information flow: self-organizing processes in psychotherapy David Pincus
    12. The dynamics of human experience: fundamentals of dynamical social psychology Robin R. Vallacher and Andrej Nowak
    13. Group dynamics: adaptation, coordination, and the emergence of leaders Stephen J. Guastello
    14. Organizational psychology Kevin Dooley
    15. Complexity, evolution and organizational behavior Peter Allen
    16. Agent-based modeling and dynamic network analysis Terrill Frantz and Kathleen Carley
    17. Epilogue: psychology at the edge of chaos Matthjs Koopmans.

  • Editors

    Stephen J. Guastello, Marquette University, Wisconsin
    Stephen J. Guastello is Professor of Psychology at Marquette University, where his teaching and research specialize in industrial-organizational psychology, human factors engineering and ergonomics, and statistics. He is the author of Chaos, Catastrophe, and Human Affairs, Managing Emergent Phenomena, and Human Factors Engineering and Ergonomics and is the founding editor of the journal Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences.

    Matthijs Koopmans, Academy for Educational Development, New York
    Matthijs Koopmans is an officer of educational research and evaluation at the Academy for Educational Development, Center for School and Community Services in New York. He has published papers in the journal Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences and served as president of the Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology and Life Sciences from 2005 to 2007.

    David Pincus, Chapman University, California
    David Pincus is an Assistant Professor in the psychology department at Chapman University, California, where his teaching, clinical and research interests focus on applications of nonlinear dynamical systems theory to understanding interpersonal processes underlying healthy exchanges of information. He is the author of Guided Imagery for Pain Management and is co-executive producer and writer of - and appears in - Life Right for Kids, a video-based program aimed at helping families address child weight-management.


    Stephen J. Guastello, Larry S. Liebovitch, William Sulis, Tullio Minelli, Robert A. M. Gregson, D. J. Aks, Patrice Renaud, Sylvain Chartier, Guillaume Albert, Geoff Hollis, Heidi Kloos, Guy C. Van Orden, Paul van Geert, Erika S. Lunkenheimer, Thomas J. Dishion, Wolfgang Tschacher, Uli Junghan, David Pincus, Robin R. Vallacher, Andrej Nowak, Kevin Dooley, Peter Allen, Terrill Frantz, Kathleen Carley, Matthijs Koopmans

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