A Systems Approach to the Study of Behavioral Dynamics



Alpha, Beta, conflict, ESS


Problem of Interest:  Behavioral scientists have nade remarkable progress in disclosing critical aspects of social relationships by observation and experiment -- even without a common paradigm to use as a reference.  A means of synthesizing this research into a coherent pattern would be very useful.

Rationale:  Approaching this problem from a systems perspetive can yield valuable insights into the dynamics that control the behavior of individuals as well as actors participating in complex institutions.

Methodology:  Analyzing a universally recognized image and adapting its components to address this problem can provide a useful basis for examining the dynamics controlling the behavior of interacting parties.  The well-known binary symbol -- that representing the Yin Yang principle -- provides the components needed to explain how the monad system functions (and to demonstrate its dynamics in a link to an action video).  The dynamic system controlling these interactions consists of a universal set of properties that emerge and become operant whenever two parties join in a relationship.  The term monad denotes a binary entity consisting of two main sectors: Alpha and Beta.  The dynamic interactions between these two sectors and the resulting outcomes are contolled by a set of constants:  Benefits, Terms, and Stress.  The variables of the system consist of the following: Alpha pressure and Beta resistance; Alpha's concession threshhold and Beta's cpompromise threshhold.  This cybernetic system can be detcted operating from basic two-party interactions up to complex institutions and nation-states (supra-systems).  Previous studies relevant to the present topic are integrated and brought to focus on this matter.  A Taxonomy is included to show the diversity of monad types.

Results:  The description and analysis of the monadal system shows that is is universial and that it evolved eons ago.  It continues to serve as an essintial means of managing social conflict because it is an Evolutionary Stable Strategy.  The system has brought humanity out from that primitive condition in which the outcome of relationships was determined by the principle that "might makes right.

Author Biography

Jack Scherting , Utath State University

Professor Emeritus, American Studies