Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society
Volume 6 (2001), Issue 1, Pages 11-29

Nonlinear dynamics in psychology

Stephen J. Guastello

Dept. Psychology, Marquette University, P.O. Box 1881, Milwaukee 53201-1881, WI, USA

Received 2 February 2000

Copyright © 2001 Stephen J. Guastello. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This article provides a survey of the applications of nonlinear dynamical systems theory to substantive problems encountered in the full scope of psychological science. Applications are organized into three topical areas – cognitive science, social and organizational psychology, and personality and clinical psychology. Both theoretical and empirical studies are considered with an emphasis on works that capture the broadest scope of issues that are of substantive interest to psychological theory. A budding literature on the implications of NDS principles in professional practice is reported also.