Chaos Theory in Psychology and the Life Sciences

Hardcover (Print)
Not Available on


This book represents the best of the first three years of the Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology conferences. While chaos theory has been a topic of considerable interest in the physical and biological sciences,
its applications in psychology and related fields have been obscured until recently by its complexity. Nevertheless, a small but rapidly growing community of psychologists, neurobiologists, sociologists, mathematicians, and philosophers have been coming together to discuss its implications and explore its research possibilities.

Chaos theory has been termed the first authentic paradigm shift since the advent of quantum physics. Whether this is true or not, it unquestionably bears profound implications for many fields of thought. These include the cognitive analysis of the mind, the nature of personality, the dynamics of psychotherapy and counseling, understanding brain events and behavioral records, the dynamics of social organization, and the psychology of prediction. To each of these topics, chaos theory brings the perspective of dynamic self-organizing processes of exquisite complexity. Behavior, the nervous system, and social processes exhibit many of the classical characteristics of chaotic systems -- they are deterministic and globally predictable and yet do not submit to precise predictability.

This volume is the first to explore ideas from chaos theory in a broad, psychological perspective. Its introduction, by the prominent neuroscientist Walter Freeman, sets the tone for diverse discussions of the role of chaos theory in behavioral research, the study of personality, psychotherapy and counseling, mathematical cognitive psychology, social organization, systems philosophy, and the understanding of the brain.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805817362
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 7/28/1995
  • Pages: 416
  • Lexile: 1330L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.33 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Table of Contents

Contents: W.J. Freeman, Foreword. Part I:Introduction to Chaos Theory. R. Robertson, Chaos Theory and the Relationship Between Psychology and Science. S. Goerner, Chaos, Evolution, and Deep Ecology. J. Goldstein, The Tower of Babel in Nonlinear Dynamics: Toward the Clarification of Terms. Part II:Research Methods and Chaos Theory. A. Combs, M. Winkler, The Nostril Cycle: A Study in the Methodology of Chaos Science. T.L. Brown, A. Combs, Constraint, Complexity, and Chaos: A Methodological Follow-Up on the Nostril Cycle. H.C. Sabelli, L. Carlson-Sabelli, M. Patel, A. Levy, J. Diez-Martin, Anger, Fear, Depression and Crime: Physiological and Psychological Studies Using the Process Method. P.E. Rapp, Is There Evidence for Chaos in the Human Central Nervous System? Part III:Cognition and Chaos Theory. W. Sulis, Naturally Occurring Computational Systems. B. Goertzel, Belief Systems as Attractors. B. Goertzel, A Cognitive Law of Motion. F.D. Abraham, Dynamics, Bifurcation, Self-Organization, Chaos, Mind, Conflict, Insensitivity to Initial Conditions, Time, Unification, Diversity, Free Will, and Social Responsibility. Part IV:Education, Social Science, and Chaos Theory. C.A. Torre, Chaos, Creativity, and Innovation: Toward a Dynamical Model of Problem Solving. G. Koehler, Fractals and Path-Dependent Processes: A Theoretical Approach for Characterizing Emergency Medical Responses to Major Disasters. T.R. Young, Chaos Theory and Social Dynamics: Foundations of Postmodern Social Science. Part V:Psychotherapy and Chaos Theory. J. Goldstein, Unbalancing Psychoanalytic Theory: Moving Beyond the Equilibrium Model of Freud's Thought. S.E. Francis, Chaotic Phenomena in Psychophysiological Self-Regulation. L. Chamberlain, Strange Attractors in Patterns of Family Interaction. T. Marks-Tarlow, The Fractal Geometry of Human Nature. I.E. Lonie, The Princess and the Swineherd: Applications of Chaos Theory to Psychodynamics. P.A. Perna, Regression as Chaotic Uncertainty and Transformation. Part VI:Philosophy and Chaos Theory. P. Ainslie, Chaos, Psychology and Spirituality. M.R. Bütz, E. Duran, B.R. Tong, Cross-Cultural Chaos. M.R. Bütz, Emergence in Neurological Positivism, and the Algorithm of Number in Analytical Psychology. D. Loye, How Predictable Is the Future?: The Conflict Between Traditional Chaos Theory and the Psychology of Prediction, and the Challenge for Chaos Psychology. F.D. Peat, Chaos: The Geometrization of Thought.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)