Adaptive Equilibrium Regulation: A Balancing Act in Two Timescales

Boker, S.M.; (2015) Adaptive Equilibrium Regulation: A Balancing Act in Two Timescales. Journal of Person-Oriented Research, 1(1-2), 99-109

An equilibrium involves a balancing of forces. Just as one maintains upright posture in standing or walking, many self-regulatory and interpersonal behaviors can be framed as a balancing act between an ever changing environment and within-person processes. The emerging balance between person and environment, the equilibria, are dynamic and adaptive in response to development and learning. A distinction is made between equilibrium achieved solely due to a short timescale balancing of forces and a longer timescale preferred equilibrium which we define as a state towards which the system slowly adapts. Together, these are developed into a framework that this article calls Adaptive Equilibrium Regulation (AER), which separates a regulatory process into two timescales: a faster regulation that automatically balances forces and a slower timescale adaptation process that reconfigures the fast regulation so as to move the system towards its preferred equilibrium when an environmental force persists over the longer timescale. This way of thinking leads to novel models for the interplay between multiple timescales of behavior, learning, and development.

The article accepted for publication can be downloaded as a PDF.

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