Satellite: Dynamics of Social Interaction: A Search for Universals

Wednesday, September 30, 2015
8:30 am – 12:00 pm
Location TBD

Satellite Organizers :

Polemnia G Amazeen
Arizona State University, USA
Jonathan Butner
University of Utah, USA


The beauty of complexity is the search for universals, the ability to make connections among phenomena that are traditionally studied in very different scientific fields. The underlying assumption is that nature abides by few, simple principles that generate the diversity of patterns that we observe from nano to macro scales in physical, biological, and social phenomena. In contrast, a traditional approach to social interaction perpetuates Cartesian dualism, the treatment of physical and mental worlds as necessarily distinct. A guiding principle for the research presented in this satellite session is the treatment of social behavior as fundamentally equivalent to patterns observed in other complex systems. Following that belief, model choice is based on dynamical similitudes, or behavioral rather than material similarity. The challenge is a need for multidisciplinary training and development of innovative methodologies, but the great advantage is unification of the scientific literature: Lessons learned will be consistent with and inform other scientific disciplines. There will be features of social interaction of interest to researchers that do not submit to today’s toolbox of techniques, so we will discuss limitations and a strategy for future developments as well.

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