Interaction-dominant dynamics, timescale enslavement, and the emergence of social behavior

Brian A. Eiler*, Rachel W. Kallen, Michael J. Richardson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


It is perhaps self-evident to say that the dynamics of human behavior are complex. This is particularly true for social behavior, in that social structures provide the prototypical example of a complex system. Yet it is this simple assertion that best defines the ways in which we may uncover stable patterns of social behavior, as well as investigate and understand why individuals behave the way they do-namely, using the theoretical principles and methodological tools of nonlinear dynamics and complexity science. It is troubling, therefore, that these tools and principles remain relatively marginalized within the field of social psychology, a field that instead concedes explanatory power to a more traditional, information processing, and non-dynamical social cognitive perspective. Accordingly, in this chapter we suggest how researchers may investigate social behavior from a complex systems perspective, and discuss the implications of adopting such a framework for social psychology more broadly.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputational social psychology
EditorsRobin R. Vallacher, Stephen J. Read, Andrzej Nowak
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781315173726, 9781351701686
ISBN (Print)9781138951648, 9781138951655
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameFrontiers of social psychology


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