Symmetry-breaking and the contextual emergence of human multiagent coordination and social activity

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

9 Citations (Scopus)


Here we review a range of interpersonal and multiagent phenomena that demonstrate how the formal and conceptual principles of symmetry, and spontaneous and explicit symmetry-breaking, can be employed to investigate, understand, and model the lawful dynamics that underlie selforganized social action and behavioral coordination. In doing so, we provided a brief introduction to group theory and discuss how symmetry groups can be used to predict and explain the patterns of multiagent coordination that are possible within a given task context. Finally, we argue that the theoretical principles of symmetry and symmetry-breaking provide an ideal and highly generalizable framework for understanding the behavioral order that characterizes everyday social activity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContextuality from quantum physics to psychology
EditorsEhtibar Dzhafarov, Scott Jordan, Ru Zhang, Victor Cervantes
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherWorld Scientific
Number of pages58
ISBN (Electronic)9789814730617
ISBN (Print)9789814730600
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvanced series on mathematical psychology


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