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Dynamic Systems Theory

Dynamic systems (DS) theory addresses how a dynamic system of various interconnected parts operates and changes over time. DS theory addresses the issue of how novel forms arise within the inner workings of a complex system and how these new forms stabilize and organize into functional patterns that serve the system. DS theory is fitting for studying life-span human development because researchers are particularly interested in answering the question of how new forms, functions, and organizational patterns arise as humans develop. For example, how does a child begin to crawl or to walk? Although these abilities can appear sudden to the child’s parents, in fact there are multiple factors that interact dynamically to produce this skill, factors that lie within the child’s motor coordination system ...

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