Social dynamics is the study of the origins, development and outcomes of social phenomena by the use of any tool or discipline deemed appropriate to the phenomenon in question.
Specifc tools and methodologies include:
- Systems of differential, and/or difference equations. This has the generic description of dynamical systems theory which includes various approaches such as chaos theory, symbolic dynamics and topological dynamics; as well as the more traditional differential equation analysis and simulation.
- System dynamics. This is the Forrester/MIT methodology which although it is only one aspect of dynamical systems theory, uses causal loops and stock/flow diagrams as a powerful model building and analysis tool. The methodology is accessible to a wide audience.
- Agent based modelling and cellular automata.
- Network modelling, such as scale free and small world networks.
- Stochastic modelling.
- Stochastic calculus.
- Sociodynamics. The methodology of Wedlich and Helbing.
- Discrete event simulation.
The Social Dynamics Research Group mainly uses system dynamics and differential equation modelling in its research projects. Although the emphasis is very much on the domain of application the group also pursues research in the development of the system dynamics methodology. The group currently has projects in the domains:
- John Wyburn and Paul Roach, A System Dynamics Model of the American Collectable Comic Book Market, International Journal of System Dynamics Applications (IJSDA), Vol. 2, No. 1, in press, 2013.
- John Wyburn and Paul Roach, An Hedonic Analysis of American Collectable Comic-Book Prices, Journal of Cultural Economics, in press. DOI: 10.1007/s10824-012-9166-6, 2012.
- John Hayward, Model Behavior and the Strengths of Causal Loops: Mathematical Insights and a Practical Method. Appears in the Proceedings of the 30th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, St Gallen, Switzerland, July 2012.
- John Hayward, Church Growth via Enthusiasts and Renewal. Appears in the Proceedings of the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Seoul, South Korea, July 2010.
- John Wyburn and John Hayward, A Model of Language-Group Interaction and Evolution Including Language Acquisition Planning, Journal of Mathematical Sociology, 34(3), 167-200, 2010.
- John Wyburn and John Hayward. “OR and Language Planning: Modelling The Interaction Between Unilingual and Bilingual Populations”, Journal of the Operational Research Society, 60(5), 626-636, 2009.
- John Wyburn and John Hayward, The Future of Bilingualism: An Application of the Baggs and Freedman Model , Journal of Mathematical Sociology 32(4) Pages: 267-284, 2008.
- John Hayward, A General Model of Church Growth and Decline, Journal of Mathematical Sociology. 29(3), 177–207, 2005.
- John Hayward, A Dynamical Model of Church Growth and its Application to Contemporary Revivals, Reviews of Religious Research, 43(3), 218–241, 2002.
- John Hayward, Growth and Decline of Religious and Subcultural Groups, Appears in Sustainability in the Third Millennium – Proc. International System Dynamics Society, Bergen, Norway, 2000.
- John Hayward, Mathematical Modeling of Church Growth, Journal of Mathematical Sociology. Vol. 23(4), 255–292, 1999.
Conference Papers and Presentations
- The Dynamics of Religious Revival and Church Growth (supervision of L. Howells) 5th Research Student Workshop, University Glamorgan, Mar 2010.
- Does Religion Spread Like a Disease?, International Medieval Congress, Leeds, UK, July 2009.
- Effective Evangelisation, Challenge to Change: exploring strategies for an effective Church in a post-Christian landscape, University of Glamorgan, May 2009.
- Modelling Church Growth – Micro and Macro Models, COST MP0801 WG1 Competition of Beliefs, Paderborn, Jan 2009.
- Modelling Church Growth using System Dynamics, Wales Mathematics Colloquium, Gregynog Wales, May 2008.
- A Dynamical Model of Political Party Growth Based on Finance (supervision of R. Jeffs) 3rd Research Student Workshop, University Glamorgan, Mar 2008.
- Modelling Church Growth – Strategies for Growing Churches, SD+50, London School of Economics Dec 2007.
- A Dynamical Model of Strictness and its Effect on Church Growth, The Annual Meeting of the Religious Research Association /Scientific Study of Religion, Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov 2002.
- Revival or Extinction – An Application of Systems Dynamics to Church Attendance and Membership Data, The Annual Meeting of the Religious Research Association /Scientific Study of Religion, Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov 2002.
- A Dynamical Model of Church Growth and Global Revival, The Annual Meeting for the Scientific Study of Religion, Houston, Texas, Oct 2000.