A Dynamical Systems Approach to Conceptualizing and Investigating the Self

  • Urszula Strawińska
Part of the Understanding Complex Systems book series (UCS)


This chapter presents the Self from the perspective of dynamical systems. Change and dynamics are integral aspects of the human experience; the dynamical systems perspective captures this essence of the Self. It has advanced our understanding of many self-related concepts that previously were difficult to address accurately within a non-dynamic framework. The focal point of this chapter is the Society of Self model that was inspired by the advances in nonlinear systems theory and uses such concepts as self-organization, emergence, and the notion of attractors in order to conceptualize how throughout their lives people build, develop, and use a well-integrated sense of who they are. The usefulness and unique contribution of the dynamical systems approach in psychology are illustrated with simulations and new empirical results from a variety of lines of research exploring the origin, functioning, and implications of self-related concepts and processes, defined in dynamical terms.


Cellular Automaton Model Incoming Information Attractor Dynamic Dynamical System Approach Individual Piece 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWarsaw School of Social Sciences and HumanitiesWarsawPoland

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