Saturday, February 18, 2006

Chaos and Complexity

I was just browsing through amazon and found this book. In psychology there are a number of approaches or perspectives. The most recent one that I was aware of was the postmodern approach where the many, sometimes contradictory viewpoints are celebrated. Now here comes a new perspective that been influenced by ideas in physics that describe how systems have degrees of complexity and chaos. Mathematicians trying to explain the movement of particles came up with this idea. Some order is necessary for structures to exist but too much order means that these structures do not change and so cannot emerge as new structures. A certain amount of chaos means that new structures are produced that maybe better than the old ones. Now this idea is being applied to social systems: whole societies and smaller groups of people. So it fits in with social sciences such as sociology and social psychology. But now psychologists are seeing that these ideas can be applied to the structures in our thinking and behaviour too. It also appears to have some interesting therapeutic applications that have been investigated.

Sorry for such an intellectual post. But I just get excited about things like this!

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