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The Mathematics of Marriage : Dynamic Nonlinear Models - John M. Gottman

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Divorce rates are at an all-time high. But without a theoretical understanding of the processes related to marital stability and dissolution, it is difficult to design and evaluate new marriage interventions. "The Mathematics of Marriage" provides the foundation for a scientific theory of marital relations. The book does not rely on metaphors, but develops and applies a mathematical model using difference equations. The work is the fulfillment of the goal to build a mathematical framework for the general system theory of families first suggested by Ludwig Von Bertalanffy in the 1960s. The book also presents a complete introduction to the mathematics involved in theory building and testing, and details the development of experiments and models. In one "marriage experiment," for example, the authors explored the effects of lowering or raising a couplei1/2s heart rates. Armed with their mathematical model, they were able to do real experiments to determine which processes were affected by their interventions. Applying ideas such as phase space, null clines, influence functions, inertia, and uninfluenced and influenced stable steady states (attractors), the authors show how other researchers can use the methods to weigh their own data with positive and negative weights. While the focus is on modeling marriage, the techniques can be applied to other types of psychological phenomena as well.

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"The theory's attractiveness is hard to deny. It neatly presents marriage as a process both mathematical and unpredictable, both stable and prone to catastrophe. Even the John Nash character in A Beautiful Mind would have to agree - love is like that." - Jordan Ellenberg, Slate"

Prefacep. xi
What Do We Mean by Theory?p. 1
What Phenomena Are We Modeling?p. 5
Nonlinear Dynamic Modelingp. 35
Calculus -- the Mathematics of Changep. 41
Introduction to Dynamic Modelingp. 65
Modeling Catastrophic Changep. 81
Intuitive Discussion of Phase Space Plotsp. 99
Interacting Dyadic Systemsp. 111
Writing the Equations of Marriagep. 127
Initial Results of Our Modelingp. 151
Who Needs All This Math?p. 165
Applying the Model to Newlywedsp. 173
Repair and Dampingp. 189
Extending the Marriage Modelp. 233
The Core Triad of Balancep. 251
The Marriage Experimentsp. 291
How to Prepare Data for Modelingp. 337
Bibliographyp. 343
p. 361
p. 365
Indexp. 397
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780262572309
ISBN-10: 0262572303
Series: Bradford Books
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 500
Published: 25th February 2005
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.76 x 16.56  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.56