Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology and Life Sciences' 30th Annual International Conference

Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences

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Location: Fields Institute, Room 230


The Annual Conference for the Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology and Life Sciences is the premier venue for training, networking, and sharing the latest empirical and applied developments in nonlinear dynamics across psychology, the life sciences and beyond; it is the longest-running in its topic area: since 1991, the Society and its conferences have promoted interdisciplinary work, acknowledging the ubiquity of nonlinear dynamics across the behavioral, social, and life sciences.

Abstracts from previous conferences can be found at . 

March 10, 2020: Early birds will start to receive their notification by this date. 

Acceptance decisions are sent within two weeks.

May 1, 2020: The submission deadline

Submit early so you can make early travel plans too!

Submit your abstract(s) electronically at

We invite interested scholars and scholar-practitioners to present and discuss recent developments in nonlinear dynamical system theory, which includes chaos theory, fractals, transition dynamics, and other complex systems behaviors and related topics. Over the years, the annual conferences of the Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences (SCTPLS) have inspired and supported scholars from an array of disciplines to look at new ways to develop their theoretical and empirical work in an integrated approach to life sciences.

The annual SCTPLS conference is the go-to event to report discovery of, recognize, and explore not only emergent patterns and the numerous scales at which they appear, but also their significance in our world! Nonlinear dynamics cannot remain one of the best-kept secrets on the planet! 

We are a multidisciplinary organization. Topics welcome at the conference include applications of nonlinear dynamics theory and techniques to problems encountered in any area of the behavioral, social and life sciences, including psychology, sociology, economics, econophysics, management sciences, pedagogy, anthropology, aesthetics, education, biology, physiology, ecology, neuroscience and medicine. One or more of the following nonlinear concepts must be an explicit part of the presentation: attractors, bifurcations, chaos, fractals, solitons, catastrophes, self-organizing processes, nonlinear mathematics, cellular automata, agent-based models, network analysis, genetic algorithms and related evolutionary processes, dynamical diseases, or closely related constructs. The broad mixture of the disciplines represented here indicates that many bodies of knowledge share common principles because they study common processes that produce similar patterns. 

The program includes workshops, invited addresses, symposia, panel discussions, a poster session, and sessions of individual papers. Advances in basic or applied research, developments in theory, reports of empirical results and methodological papers are all welcome. We continue to encourage all nonlinear scientists, including graduate students who might be contemplating or finishing up a dynamical thesis or dissertation, to share their ideas through paper presentations, chairing a roundtable session, or by proposing other alternative presentation formats, such as posters, product demonstrations, short workshops, or debates around controversial topics.



Abstracts should be between 150-250 words for posters and individual papers. The connection to nonlinear dynamics must be clear to the reader, as must be the nature and purpose of the work presented. Include organizational affiliation and contact information for each speaker or author. 

Abstracts should run between 750-1000 words for symposia or panel discussions. For symposia, abstracts should reflect the content of each speaker's contribution. The format for a symposium is for all speakers to give presentations, followed by or interspersed with discussion. Symposia should present current research within a coherent theme defined by the title and abstract. Ideally, a 90-minute session should include four or five contributions from different countries, research centers, or universities.


For empirical work, the background, aims and framework, methods and samples, results, conclusions, and implications should be clear to the reader. For theoretical, philosophical, or artistic work, the background, aims and framework, mode of inquiry, outcomes, conclusions and implications should be clear to the reader.

Abstracts for panel discussions should provide a brief overview of the topic and indicate the relevant background of the panelists and sample questions they will address. The format for a panel discussion includes an introduction to the topic and the speakers, after which the panelists address the topic through series of questions or issues (rather than just giving a series of presentations). Panel discussions usually have at least three people on the panel.

Abstracts for 60-minute workshops should range between 500-750 words and present state-of-the-art information on techniques useful for conducting research or applications of nonlinear science in the behavioral, social, and life sciences. Workshops should be pedagogical in nature. Where applicable, the abstract should emphasize skills that attendees can expect to acquire. Workshops will be scheduled along with other types of presentations within the main conference.

For all abstracts

The connection to nonlinear dynamics, chaos, complexity, fractals or related concepts should be made clear to the reader. Please stress what is the overall value added to the field y taking a nonlinear dynamics approach (e.g., new method, new information, new perspective or issue, valuable confirmation of present knowledge, additional clarity to present understanding). 

Also, please indicate on the submission form which of the following categories is representative of your submission: 1) Empirical (e.g., presentation of empirical results of a study), 2) Theoretical (e.g., empirically testable theoretical development), 3) Applied (e.g., organizational, business, product development or marketing, behavioral economics, or involving clinical interventions), 4) Quantitative (e.g., computational or statistical modeling); 5) Qualitative (e.g., non-quantitative analysis of empirical data); 6) Philosophical or artistic (e.g., epistemology, philosophy of science, aesthetics, or audio-visual demonstrations).

Each person submitting is limited to a maximum of two presentations as first author. It is acceptable to be a co-author on additional work submitted by others.  

Abstract submission site:

**Trouble submitting?**

If your submission is received successfully you will be taken to a confirmation page, with a link to follow for any future edits.

If you have repeated trouble making your submission, as a back-up option please send all of the relevant submission information directly to Conference Chair, J. Barkley Rosser, who will correspond with you and can make sure that your submission is successfully loaded into the system.



All presenting conferees are further invited to prepare their papers for review and possible publication in the Society's research journal Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences


NDPLS is peer-reviewed and abstracted in PsycInfo (Psychological Abstracts), Medline (Index Medicus), JEL/Econlit, MathSciNet, Scopus, Web of Science, and other important databases.

NDPLS uses American Psychological Association (APA) style with some minor exceptions. Authors are encouraged to consult the journal’s Instructions for Authors. All SCTPLS members receive NDPLS and the SCTPLS Newsletter as a benefit of membership. NDPLS accepts manuscripts all through the year, but please use October 1, 2019 as the target date for submitting conference-related papers; the journal would like to have as many articles based on conference presentations as possible ready for the same issue.

Cordially yours, the Conference Committee

J. Barkley Rosser,  Jr., James Madison University (SCTPLS President-elect & Conference Chair)

David Schuldberg, University of Montana, Missoula, MT

David Kreindler, University of Toronto

Steve Guastello, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI

Adam Kiefer, University of North Carolina

Sara Nora Ross, Neurotricional Sciences Education Pty. Ltd., and Saybrook University (Pasadena)

The venue for our 30th Annual Conference is The Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences, located at the University of Toronto. The Fields Institute is internationally renowned for strengthening collaboration, innovation, and learning in mathematics and across a broad range of disciplines; it promotes mathematical activity in Canada, helps to expand the application of mathematics in modern society, and makes mathematics accessible and engaging for all audiences.

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Toronto , Canada