Why Use Networks to Model Psychological Processes?
Psychological theories have proposed that emotions and social behaviors interact with each other and form an intertwined network. Dynamical system methods can model exactly such a network. My work has shown that when there are mutually reinforcing temporal relations formed - a positive feedback loop - it correlates with a higher risk for depression or anxiety at multiple levels of analysis. This highlights the value of treating the psychological systems as networks and what network structure is good/bad for the person. Here is a 30-min video I recorded to introduce this exciting technique
Yang, X., Ram, N., Lougheed, J. P., Molenaar, P. C. M., & Hollenstein, T. (2019). Adolescents’ emotion system dynamics: Network-based analysis of physiological and emotional experience. Developmental Psychology, 55(9), 1982-1993. DOI: 10.1037/dev0000690 (pdf)
Yang, X., Ram, N., Gest, S., Lydon, D., Conroy, D. E., Pincus, A. L., & Molenaar, P. C. M. (2018). Socioemotional dynamics of emotion regulation and depressive symptoms: A person-specific network approach. Complexity, 2018, Article ID 5094179. DOI: 10.1155/2018/5094179 (pdf)