The Spirit Is Willing: Nonlinearity, Bifurcations, and Mental Control
College of Social Work, The Ohio State University
J. C. Sprott
Department of Physics, University
of Wisconsin - Madison
R. C. Hawkins
Department of Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin
In recent years there has been considerable interest in the construction
of nonlinear models of the dynamics of human behavior. In this exploratory
article we argue that attempts at controlling problematic thoughts, emotions,
or behaviors can lead to nonlinearity in mental/behavioral dynamics. We
illustrate our model by fitting threshold autoregression models to self-recorded
time series of the daily highs in intensity of anxiety and obsessive ruminations,
kept by an individual in therapy for this problem. In our discussion, we
raise the possibility that bifurcations that occur in this nonlinear model
may offer insight into mental control paradoxes.
Ref: K. Warren, J. C. Sprott, and R. C. Hawkins,
Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences 6, 55-70 (2002).
The complete paper is available in PDF format.
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