Synergetics in Psychology

  • Hermann Haken
Part of the Springer Series in Synergetics book series (SSSYN, volume 58)


The interdisciplinary field of synergetics may be considered as a strategy for dealing with complex systems. It focusses its attention on those situations where systems change their behavior qualitatively. The basic concepts of synergetics, such as stability and instability, order parameters, control parameters, the slaving principle, hysteresis, critical fluctuations, etc. are illustrated by means of examples taken from physics (lasers and fluid dynamics) and physiology (finger movements). It is shown how the concepts of synergetics may be used as metaphors at the conceptual level, but that they allow us also to devise computer models for phenomena treated by psychology, e.g. visual perception, including those of ambiguous pictures, where contact with Gestalt theory can also be made. As is shown in particular, the change of rather unspecific control parameters can induce a qualitative change in the behavior of a system.


Light Wave Light Field Excited Electron Finger Movement Test Person 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

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  • Hermann Haken

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