About Sensations, Emotions and Feelings: A Contribution to the Theoretical Basis of Transactional Analysis

This article is intended to present new thinking and expansion of the knowledge of emotions and feelings within transactional analysis, through a dialogue between Eric Berne, Antonio Damasio and Humberto Maturana. From Berne comes the guiding framework of transactional analysis and the core concept of ego states. From Damasio comes the distinction between feeling, emotion and mood as well as an understanding of the organisation of the brain. From Maturana comes an understanding of the importance of emotions, particularly the emotion of love, in the process of human evolution. From this dialogue can be seen the foundation for the five primary emotions referred to within transactional analyis: anger, fear, sadness, joy and love. Finally, there is a proposal to update the concept of ego states in line with that dialogue.


Posted in Emotions, Feeling, Maturana, Transactional autopoiesis | Tagged , , ,

Dewey’s Logic and Social Autopoiesis: Creative Forces for/of Social (R)evolution

This paper discusses how John Dewey’s logic in his theory of inquiry can inform and perhaps guide efforts to re-form education and to allow the creative forces of emergence to affect and create adaptive social systems as learning organizations. The paper contends that Dewey’s naturalistic theory of experience predated yet anticipated the discourses of complex adaptive systems (CAS) theories (Maturana, 1980) and social autopoiesis (Luhmann, 1995). It finds that these varying perspectives can be engaged dialectically to provide insights into school re-form and (r)evolution. Visions of schooling must proceed from the multiple discourses of postmodern meaning rather than the mechanistic perspectives of production models. Contains 3 figures and 23 references.


Posted in Social autopoiesis, Transactional autopoiesis | Tagged ,

Leadership and systemic innovation: socio-technical systems, ecological systems, and evolutionary systems design

Innovation comprises an area of human activity that bridges disciplinary boundaries in epistemological domains as well as action frameworks in ontological domains. It involves a complex system composed of people, organizations, role structures, skills, and knowledge bases, in addition to the hardware produced in workshops and factories. This paper argues that Systemic Innovation, as an emerging field of praxis in its own right, provides an integral and actionable framework for the curation of human initiatives that span human, technological, environmental, and generational concerns with lifelong learning and creative design initiatives. To do this, the field draws on socio-technical systems theory (STS), the study of living systems and ecological system dynamics (including such areas of embodied action as permaculture), and evolutionary systems design (itself comprised of general evolution theory (GST), social systems design methodology (SSM), and lifelong and transformative learning praxes). How these frameworks are used to guide systemic innovation in service of life, increasingly robust and supportive living environments, and future-creating scenarios of systemic viability and thrivability is at the heart of the field of Systemic Innovation.


Posted in Innovation, Leadership, Systemic leadership | Tagged , ,

Theorizing social networks: relational sociology

This paper offers an overview of relational sociology as developed by and around Harrison White. Relational sociology provides a substantial account of social networks, conceptualizing them as real social structures interwoven with meaning. Forms of meaning connected to network configurations (as part of their ‘domains’) include stories, identities, social categories (including role categories), and institutions. Recent advances lead to a network perspective on culture, and to an emphasis on communicative events in networks. In contrast to other strands of relational sociology, the approach aims at a close connection between empirical research and theoretical reflection. Theoretical concepts and arguments are geared at empirical applicability in network research, rather than mainly providing a theoretical description of the social world. Finally, the author’s own version of relational sociology is sketched: social networks are seen as dynamic constructions of relational expectations. These emerge and develop over the course of communication (in the sense of Niklas Luhmann), in turn effectively channeling communicative sequence.


Posted in Relational sociology, Relationships, Social network, Social relations | Tagged , , ,

Social cohesion matters in health

The concept of social cohesion has invoked debate due to the vagueness of its definition and the limitations of current measurements. This paper attempts to examine the concept of social cohesion, develop measurements, and investigate the relationship between social cohesion and individual health.

This study is an innovative effort to incorporate different aspects of social cohesion. This study suggests that social cohesion was associated with individual self-rated after controlling individual characteristics. To achieve further advancement in population health, developed countries should consider policies that would foster a society with a high level of social inclusion, social capital, and social diversity. Future research could focus on identifying possible pathways by which social cohesion influences various health outcomes.


Posted in Health, Social cohesion | Tagged ,

Trusted strangers: social affordances for social cohesion

How could the paradigm shift towards enactive embodied cognitive science have implications for society and politics? Translating insights form enactive embodied cognitive science into ways of dealing with real-life issues is an important challenge. This paper focuses of the urgent societal issue of social cohesion, which is crucial in our increasingly segregated and polarized Western societies. We use Rietveld’s (2016) philosophical Skilled Intentionality Framework and work by the multidisciplinary studio RAAAF to extend Lambros Malafouris’ Material Engagement Theory (2013) to the social domain. How could a landscape of social affordances generate change in the behavioral patterns of people from different socio-cultural backgrounds? RAAAF is currently imagining and planning an ambitious intervention in the public domain that could really change existing socio-cultural practices and aims to contribute to social cohesion. An animation film it made introduces a landscape of social affordances. We will present and discuss this Trusted Strangers animation film, which is a thinking model for new public domain all over the world. Tha animation film visualizes how a well-designed landscape of social affordances could invite all sorts of interactions between people from different socio-cultural backgrounds.


Posted in Uncategorized

How can we amplify impact to foster transformative change?

How can the impact of sustainability and other initiatives be scaled or amplified to achieve transformative change?

There are hundreds of promising sustainability initiatives emerging around the world. A sustainability initiative is, for example, a local food initiative from citizens and farmers who promote healthy and organic food production and consumption. Another example is the installation of solar panels by a community to support the use of renewable energies. Such initiatives provide potential solutions for urgent sustainability problems, for instance, biodiversity loss, climate change, social injustice, and poverty in rural areas or cities.


Posted in Uncategorized

Let’s Dance Together: Synchrony, Shared Intentionality and Cooperation

Previous research has shown that the matching of rhythmic behaviour between individuals (synchrony) increases cooperation. Such synchrony is most noticeable in music, dance and collective rituals. As well as the matching of behaviour, such collective performances typically involve shared intentionality: performers actively collaborate to produce joint actions. Over three experiments we examined the importance of shared intentionality in promoting cooperation from group synchrony. Experiment 1 compared a condition in which group synchrony was produced through shared intentionality to conditions in which synchrony or asynchrony were created as a by-product of hearing the same or different rhythmic beats. We found that synchrony combined with shared intentionality produced the greatest level of cooperation. To examinef the importance of synchrony when shared intentionality is present, Experiment 2 compared a condition in which participants deliberately worked together to produce synchrony with a condition in which participants deliberately worked together to produce asynchrony. We found that synchrony combined with shared intentionality produced the greatest level of cooperation. Experiment 3 manipulated both the presence of synchrony and shared intentionality and found significantly greater cooperation with synchrony and shared intentionality combined. Path analysis supported a reinforcement of cooperation model according to which perceiving synchrony when there is a shared goal to produce synchrony provides immediate feedback for successful cooperation so reinforcing the group’s cooperative tendencies. The reinforcement of cooperation model helps to explain the evolutionary conservation of traditional music and dance performances, and furthermore suggests that the collectivist values of such cultures may be an essential part of the mechanisms by which synchrony galvanises cooperative behaviours.


Posted in Cooperation, Shared intentionality, Synchronization | Tagged , ,

Kindness Counts: Prompting Prosocial Behavior in Preadolescents Boosts Peer Acceptance and Well-Being

At the top of parents’ many wishes is for their children to be happy, to be good, and to be well-liked. Our findings suggest that these goals may not only be compatible but also reciprocal. In a longitudinal experiment conducted in 19 classrooms in Vancouver, 9- to 11-year olds were instructed to perform three acts of kindness (versus visit three places) per week over the course of 4 weeks. Students in both conditions improved in well-being, but students who performed kind acts experienced significantly bigger increases in peer acceptance (or sociometric popularity) than students who visited places. Increasing peer acceptance is a critical goal, as it is related to a variety of important academic and social outcomes, including reduced likelihood of being bullied. Teachers and interventionists can build on this study by introducing intentional prosocial activities into classrooms and recommending that such activities be performed regularly and purposefully.


Posted in Adolescents, Prosocial behavior, Prosociality | Tagged , ,

Early Development of Prosocial Behavior: Current Perspectives

It is now clear that prosocial behavior of many different sorts appears in the second year of life, possibly earlier for some forms. In a growing number of studies, infants between 12 and 24 months of age have been shown to help, comfort, share, and cooperate with others. The mystery is how such young children can generate these relatively complex, other-oriented behaviors and what could account for their emergence in this period. The papers in this special issue represent some of the most recent and innovative work on questions about the early development of prosocial behavior and potential contributors to its manifestations in infancy.


Posted in Prosocial behavior, Prosociality | Tagged ,