Complexity, dynamics and development

Faculteit Gedrags- en MaatschappijWetenschappen
Jaar 2019/20
Vakcode GMCSEE05
Vaknaam Complexity, dynamics and development
Niveau(s) master
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester I b

Uitgebreide vaknaam Complexity, dynamics and development
Leerdoelen After this course the student:
- can explain what the complex dynamical systems (CDS) approach entails, as well as its relevance for the behavioral and social sciences;
- is able to explain the differences between CDS techniques and other statistical techniques that (claim to) deal with change (e.g. VAR, ARFIMA, MLM);
- can reflect on fundamental issues pertaining to CDS, such as nonlinearity, self-organization, emergence, transition phenomena, hysteresis, and multiscaledness;
- understands fundamental aspects of intra-individual variability (e.g. critical slowing down, error vs. noise, colors of noise), how they can be quantified, and how they are related to stability, transitions, performance, learning and health;
- has a working knowledge of the CDS techniques that are taught in this course;
- can use at least two of these techniques to formulate research questions and design a concrete study, preferably related to a MT-project or PhD-project.
Omschrijving The behavioral and social sciences address questions of how (groups of) people maintain, adapt, change, and develop their behavior in various live domains. Obviously, human behavior and cognition are not captured at a single level of description. Humans are complex dynamical systems, consisting of many interrelated processes, and they need to be studied as such. Principles of complex dynamical systems are applicable to the study of individuals (e.g. task performance, health, learning) and dyads (e.g. conversations, mother-child interaction, interpersonal coordination), but also to classroom interactions and societal phenomena. Inter- and intra-individual variability are important sources of information about the nature and origin of behavior in complex dynamical systems. In addition to the longitudinal and individual focus, partly addressed in other courses as well, this course puts forth a more comprehensive and fundamental view based on the theory of complex dynamical systems (CDS). This approach is needed to understand and analyze nonlinearity, transition phenomena, emergence of new behavior, typical and meaningful developmental patterns such as changes in variability, critical slowing down, and other indicators of developmental changes.

Some of the issues that will be discussed are the assumptions underlying time-series analysis and whether they fit our research questions and data sets, how to describe and deal with transition phenomena, multiple timescales and emergence in behavior, and temporal variability. The methods that are introduced are dynamic systems model building, agent based modelling, State Space Grids, nonlinear time-series analyses (e.g. (Cross-)Recurrence Analysis and Fractal Analysis (PSA, DFA)). The general principles of the process approach will be explained and applied to a host of developmental, educational, clinical and behavioral phenomena.

This course is truly multidisciplinary in the sense that it makes explicit reference to other scientific disciplines where this approach and the techniques are already successfully applied. This gives students the opportunity to catch up with the scientific developments that are currently happening.

Students are advised to choose this course in their first year, in order to be able to implement the concepts and techniques in their MT-project or PhD proposal.
Uren per week 3
Onderwijsvorm practicum
Toetsvorm opdrachten, schriftelijk tentamen (essay)
Vaksoort master
Coördinator dr. R.F.A. Cox
Docent(en) dr. R.F.A. Cox ,dr. E.S. Kunnen
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
A dynamic systems approach to adolescent development (also available as ebook)
E.S.Kunnen (Ed.) ca. €  60,00
Various articles available online or via Nestor
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
Research Master, Behavioural and Social Sciences (ReMa)  (ReMa) 1 semester I b keuze