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Child Dev. 2000 Jan-Feb;71(1):36-43.

The promise of dynamic systems approaches for an integrated account of human development.

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University of Toronto, OISE/UT, ON, Canada.


After decades of theoretical fragmentation and insularity, a converging explanatory framework based on general scientific principles is an important goal for developmental psychology. Dynamic systems approaches may provide such a framework, using principles of self-organization to explain how novel forms emerge without predetermination and become increasingly complex with development. New trends in traditional theoretical families emphasize systemic, emergent processes, and these can now be explicated with principles of self-organization that apply to all natural systems. Self-organization thus provides a single explanation for the multiple facets of development, integrating diverse developmental viewpoints within a larger scientific perspective.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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