ACSPRI Conferences, RC33 Eighth International Conference on Social Science Methodology

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Order from chaos in human communication

Cor van Dijkum

Building: Law Building
Room: Breakout 11 - Law Building, Room 107
Date: 2012-07-10 03:30 PM – 05:00 PM
Last modified: 2011-12-22


We developed a model for feedback loops in the exchange of information between two actors, for example a GP and his patient, or a teacher and a student. Feedback loops were constructed in that model, according to hypotheses about positive and negative feedback between the actors. For the actors themselves we supposed entangled ‘inner’ feedback loops between the information task and related psycho-social and control processes. Those processes were modeled with non linear differential equations of logistic growth. In a number of simulation studies, using STELLA and Madonna, we proved at face value that this complex model fit patterns we found in video observations of the interaction between a patient and his GP as it was put in SPSS data (Dijkum et al 2008).
To explore the model in a more methodological and fundamental way we reprogrammed the model in Matlab as an extension of a model that was explored earlier by Savi (2007). We did some experiments with the model in which we explored the interaction between the different components of the model, being in states of order and chaos (Dijkum & Lam 2010). The leading questions of the exploration for this paper are: (1) can a system of which the components are all in a state of chaos produce order; (2) how can this be interpreted for our model of human communication?

Dijkum, C. van, Verheul W., Lam N., Bensing J. (2008). Non Linear Models for the Feedback between GP and Patients. In Trappl R. (Ed). Cybernetics and Systems. Vienna: Austrian Society for Cybernetic Studies, pp. 629-634.
Dijkum C. Van, Lam N., (2010). Exploring a Complex Model of Communication. Paper presented on International Conference Operations Research, Mastering complexity. Munchen.
Savi M., (2007). Effects of randomness on chaos and order of coupled logistic maps. Physics Letters A, 364, pp 389–395.