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Dynamical Systems Theory

Definition

Emotions go up and down over the course of days. But sometimes emotions are more constant. For instance, depression could be characterized with fairly constant negative emotions across days. When will hearing some negative information lead a person into a depressed pattern? When will the same negative information just lead to a bad day among the good days? Dynamical systems theory (also known as dynamic systems theory or just systems theory) is a series of principles and tools for studying change. It is based on concepts from mathematics and is a general approach applicable to almost any phenomenon.

There are two types of change that are central to this method. First, a systems approach focuses on how a phenomenon changes over time. For example, a systems ...

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