A Physicist's Modeling of Psycho-political Phenomena

  • Serge Galam

Part of the Understanding Complex Systems book series (UCS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Sociophysics: Setting the Frame

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Serge Galam
      Pages 3-19
    3. Serge Galam
      Pages 41-67
  3. Discovering the Wonderful (and Maybe Scary) World of Sociophysics

  4. Democratic Voting in Bottom-Up Hierarchical Structures: From Advantages and Setbacks to Dictatorship Paradoxes

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 207-207
    2. Serge Galam
      Pages 209-222
    3. Serge Galam
      Pages 247-271
  5. The Risky Business of Alliances in Bottom-Up Democratic Voting with Three-Choice Competition

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 377-377
    2. Serge Galam
      Pages 423-425
    3. Serge Galam
      Pages 427-428
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 429-439

About this book


Do humans behave much like atoms? Sociophysics, which uses tools and concepts from the physics of disordered matter to describe some aspects of social and political behavior, answers in the affirmative. But advocating the use of models from the physical sciences to understand human behavior could be perceived as tantamount to dismissing the existence of human free will and also enabling those seeking manipulative skills. This thought-provoking book argues it is just the contrary.

Indeed, future developments and evaluation will either show sociophyics to be inadequate, thus supporting the hypothesis that people can primarily be considered to be free agents, or valid, thus opening the path to a radically different vision of society and personal responsibility. This book attempts to explain why and how humans behave much like atoms, at least in some aspects of their collective lives, and then proposes how this knowledge can serve as a unique key to a dramatic leap forwards in achieving more social freedom in the real world. At heart, sociophysics and this book are about better comprehending the richness and potential of our social interaction, and so distancing ourselves from inanimate atoms.


group decision making human behavior laws physics humans modeling social sciences social freedom sociophysics definition

Authors and affiliations

  • Serge Galam
    • 1
  1. 1.ENSTA - CREAParisFrance

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4614-2031-6
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4614-2032-3
  • Series Print ISSN 1860-0832
  • Series Online ISSN 1860-0840
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking