Dynamic systems approaches: Cool enough? Hot enough?
Number of pages
SourceChild Development Perspectives, 5, 4, (2011), pp. 279-285
Article / Letter to editor
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Child Development Perspectives
This article outlines key insights and methods from the dynamic systems (DS) approach to development, considers successes and failures of the approach thus far, and suggests future directions, especially in the area of developmental neuroscience. It begins with a brief review of major contributions by scholars who have defined the field. Then it reviews the author’s theoretical work on self-organizing personality development, cognition–emotion interactions, and individual phase transitions that correspond with more global developmental changes. Finally, it discusses empirical work by the author and his colleagues using state space grids to measure emotional and interpersonal stability across development, and then highlights neuroscientific applications. The article concludes that the DS perspective needs to be “cool” enough to attract other developmentalists, yet “hot” enough to move the field forward, and that these goals are definitely worth pursuing.
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