Hop off the mirror neuron bandwagon and join ours, it's less crowded!

Kerry L. Marsh, Lucy Johnston, Michael J. Richardson, R. C. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


As experts in dynamical approaches to social psychology, and experts in cognitive approaches to joint action, Vallacher and Jackson, and Sebanz and Knoblich, respectively, suggest alterations in the breadth of our consideration of a dynamical and Gibsonian approach to social psychological phenomena. Vallacher and Jackson provide an excellent explication of what self-organization means, and why an emergent social pattern which ‘‘controls itself by means of dynamic processes’’ simply cannot be examined in a deconstructed way. Emergence results in distributed causality, and importantly, there is no proprietary level of explanation such as neurally encoded knowledge units. They emphasize the universality of dynamical principles, occurring across all levels of a system, and the recursive nature of dynamical systems. Thus more or less mental social coordination could be manifested not just in synchronized motoric behavior but ‘‘as a global judgment that provides coherence for an individual’s thoughts and feelings that arise in a given context,’’ or ‘‘as a shared reality among interacting individuals engaged in joint action.’’ One primary suggestion Vallacher and Jackson make, however, is that dynamical principles should be more broadly applied to a greater range of phenomena than we have examined. In particular, they advocate investigating links between macro and micro levels that define emergence. Arguing that more needs to be offered in the way of new research agendas, they suggest some.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1234-1235
Number of pages2
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


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