Center for Complex System and New Technologies

TeamResearchPublicationsScientific Collaboration


Prof. dr hab.  Andrzej Nowak 


Main research areas

Dynamics of social influence. Our flagship research area is social influence – within the paradigm of dynamical social psychology we analyze social influence both from the perspective of individuals and the mechanisms of their interaction as well as from the systemic perspective which allows to track and understand the processes of opinion dynamics in social systems. Our new theoretical proposal – Regulatory Theory of Social Influence – enhances the widely cited Dynamic Social Impact Theory with novel understanding of self-regulation mechanisms that make social influence an optimization process both for individuals and social groups.

Modelling and computer simulations of social processes. Modelling of social systems is the paradigm of choice for much of the research carried out by CCSNT. Agent based and network models of social systems help us understand how psychological mechanisms governing the behaviour of individuals translate into system level processes.

New Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and social processes. Our systemic approach to social processes proves indispensable when analysing the societal changes spurred by the ubiquitous spread of new information technologies – a multi-method approach based on Big Data analysis and computer modelling enables us to better understand the social dynamics of new media.

Synchronization in biological and social systems. In systems composed of many interacting elements coordination of activity is the crucial mechanism that enables function to arise. From neural cells in the brain, through diadic interactions up to the functioning of whole societies, synchronization of dynamics is a phenomenon that inevitably occurs before the systems can perfom any function.

Research Projects

SMART – The mechanisms that shape Social Media and their impact on Society

Funding agency: European Comission (Tender)

Consortium: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche CNR (lider), University of Warsaw, PlusValue, Human Ecosystems Relazioni HER and Catchy SRL.

Funding period: 2018-2019

Since the appearance of Facebook and Twitter, the impact of social networks on the way people consume, produce and interact with information has grown exponentially. This affected the habits and behaviour of people – and particularly of younger generations – in the way they consume and interact with information. The aim of this proposal is to study the mechanisms that shape social media and their impact on society and try to respond to the key challenges posed by the increasingly broad and diverse community of stakeholders interested in this topic, including researchers, policy makers, regulators, journalists, media companies (traditional and new), industry, civil society organizations and citizens. There are two main objectives of the project: understanding how information spreads on social media and understanding the emergence of narratives and change of behaviour in the age of social media.

Quality in online peer production communities – analyzing the impact of social structure, procedures and participant commitment

Funding agency: National Science Center, Opus 14 call

PI: dr Agnieszka Rychwalska

Funding period: 2018-2022

Wikipedia is a prime example of an online community that collaboratively produces knowledge artifacts for anyone to use. What fascinates us as social scientists is that some online communities – built from enthusiast not seeking financial gains but simply enjoying common work – incredibly deliver products of high quality. What is it that makes some succeed and others fail? How can we support such peer production communities so that they can give us more of their interesting and useful products and services? To answer these questions we will take a closer look at editors of the Wikipedia that voluntarily join WikiProjects – sub-communities that look after articles on specific topics, for example, video games or movies. We will check how different WikiProjects organize their work – how they divide the tasks and check quality. We hope that we can find a connection between how online communities organize their work and the quality of their products. This knowledge can help us design novel technological solutions – for example, new functionalities for social interaction platforms – and can support communities of committed volunteers deliver the products that serve us all.

Spatial dimension of cultural transmission of folk melodies – statistical and computational analysis of melodies from the collections of Oskar Kolberg

Funding agency: National Science Center, Preludium 15 call

PI: mgr Rafał Miśta

Historical oral traditions are difficult to analyze – they relatively rarely leave direct traces in material culture. The study of cultural evolution, therefore, requires finding and analyzing even indirect information about how the old traditions have formed and transformed. The subject of my project is to study the historical oral tradition in the form of transmission of folk tunes. An indirect insight into this picture is given by the Oskar Kolberg collection, numbering about 10,000 various music records. The collection gives two pieces of information that should allow us to answer not only what the folk music was in different regions of Poland in the 19th century, but also to indirectly infer what mechanisms of its evolution were. On the one hand, it provides records of different variants of the same melodies (the information about melodic variation), and on the other, it gives information about geographical locations of the places from which these variants came. The variation of cultural traits is a derivative of their transformations that took place during their transmissions. In turn in a world without electricity, the geographical distance was strongly associated with the frequency of cultural contacts or the length of the chains of cultural diffusion. The purpose of my project is to test what can be said about the evolution of folk music, taking into account to a larger extent than in the current research studies, the spatial dimension of how oral traditions have been transmitted.
To answer this question, I want to create a database matching the selected notations of tunes of the Kolberg’s collection with the places from which they were supposed to come. Next, I will use quantitative measures related to various musical characteristics, statistical methods applied, among others, by biologists to study the diversity and evolution of living organisms, and a computer simulation method. The latter allows checking how various assumptions about the mechanisms of cultural transmission are reflected in the frequency and spatial distribution of cultural traits. Having an image of the spatial differentiation of variants of folk tunes from Kolberg’s time, one can try to find those assumptions and mechanisms that could form such a picture, and thus indirectly answer how the folk music could have evolved.

Recently finished projects

EFESEIIS: Enabling the flourishing and evolution of social entrepreneurship for innovative and inclusive societies, 2013-2016 (Workpackage PI – Ryszard Praszkier)

EFESEIIS was a research project supported by the Seventh Framework Programme and funded by the European Commission. It produced new knowledge aimed at supporting individuals, authorities or organizations that are involved or are willing to involve themselves in the social and solidarity-based economy. It aimed at providing a better understanding of Social Entrepreneurship using thorough analysis of data gathered in 10 European countries. EFESEIIS involved around 1100 stakeholders – from social entrepreneurs, policy makers, financial organizations, and local authorities to individuals – in its research activities.

Regulatory Theory of Social Influence, 2012 – 2017 (PI – A. Nowak)

The main aim of the project was to construct a novel, testable theory of social influence understood not as a tool to manipulate others but rather as a natural regulatory mechanism that optimizes group activity. The majority of research on social influence has adopted the perspective of the benefit to the source. In this view, influence is a way of achieving power and control of others. In contrast to this approach, we adopt the perspective of the target. From this perspective, to be socially influenced may be desired and actively sought by individuals. Social influence processes enable those being influenced (the targets of influence) to use the knowledge and processing capacities of sources of influence to optimize their own functioning. In essence, from the perspective of the target, social influence increases their ability to function within their group, and indirectly of the group as well.

In the project we have carried out a series of experimental studies – investigating social influence on the level of dyads, small and large social groups – and computer simulations. The results of the studies have been published in national and international scientific journals and a mongraph to be published by Springer.

Recent publications

Pitt, J., Rychwalska, A., Roszczynska-Kurasinska, M., & Nowak, A. (2019). Democratizing Platforms for Social Coordination. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, 38(1), 43–50.

Nowak, A., & Vallacher, R. R. (2019). Nonlinear societal change: The perspective of dynamical systems. British Journal of Social Psychology, 58(1), 105-128.

Biesaga, M., Motyka, P., & Nowak, A. (2018). The Effects of Synchronization With Either Joyful or Angry People on Perception of an Emotionally Neutral Person. Social Psychological Bulletin, 13(4).

W. Borkowski, Mózg, umysł, kultura – memetyczny system adaptacyjny, „Teksty z Ulicy. Zeszyt memetyczny” 2018, nr 19, s. 83–121.

Cohen, D., Hernandez, I., Gruschow, K., Nowak, A., Gelfand, M. J., & Borkowski, W. (2018). Rationally Irrational?. The ecologies and economics of honor. In: Socio-Economic Environment and Human Psychology: Social, Ecological, and Cultural Perspectives, CHAPTER 4, pp 77-102.

Miśta R. (2018), The Relationship between the Accuracy of Cultural Transmission and the Strength of Cultural Attractors. In: Social Evolution & History, vol. 17 No. 2, September 2018, pp. 42–63, DOI:10.30884/seh/2018.02.03.

Ziembowicz, K., & Nowak, A. (2018). Prosody of Text Communication? How to Induce Synchronization and Coherence in Chat Conversations. International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, 1-10.

Nowak, A., Lukowicz, P., & Horodecki, P. (2018). Assessing Artificial Intelligence for Humanity: Will AI be the Our Biggest Ever Advance? or the Biggest Threat [Opinion]. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, 37(4), 26-34.

Praszkier, R. (2018). Leaders’ portfolio: psycho-social mechanisms augmenting creativity. Journal of Positive Management, 9(1).

Talaga, M., & Talaga, S. (2018). Do you even Zornhaw? A set-theoretic Approach to HEMA reconstruction. Acta Periodica Duellatorum, 6(1), 151-182.

Nowak, A., Vallacher, R. R., Zochowski, M., & Rychwalska, A. (2017). Functional synchronization: The emergence of coordinated activity in human systems. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 945.

Vallacher, R. R., Read, S. J., & Nowak, A. (Eds.). (2017). Computational social psychology. Routledge.

Johnson, J., Nowak, A., Ormerod, P., Rosewell, B., & Zhang, Y. C. (Eds.). (2017). Non-Equilibrium Social Science and Policy: Introduction and Essays on New and Changing Paradigms in Socio-Economic Thinking. Springer.

Rychwalska, A., & Roszczynska-Kurasinska, M. (2017). Value sensitive design for peer production systems: mediating social interactions. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, 36(3), 48-55. DOI: 10.1109/MTS.2017.2728737

Nowak, A., Zabłocka, A., & Praszkier, R. (2017). How Much do Leaders Seek to Be Influenced? The Concept of Social Influence in Reverse in Reverse. Journal of Positive Management, 8(4), 58-79.

Praszkier, R. (2017). Empowering Leadership of Tomorrow. Cambridge University Press.

Johnson J., Ormerod P., Rosewell B., Nowak A., Zhang Y.-Ch. (2017), Non-Equilibrium Social Science and Policy. In: Non-Equilibrium Social Science and Policy (subtitle: Introduction and Essays on New and Changing Paradigms in Socio-Economic Thinking). Springer International Publishing, ISBN: 978-3-319-42422-4; str. 1-17

Nowak A., Kacprzyk-Murawska M., Serwatka E. (2017) Social Psychology and the Narrative Economy. In: Non-Equilibrium Social Science and Policy (subtitle: Introduction and Essays on New and Changing Paradigms in Socio-Economic Thinking). Springer International Publishing, ISBN: 978-3-319-42422-4; str. 45-58

Vallacher R. R., Read S. J., Nowak A. (eds.) (2017). Computational Social Psychology. NY, Oxon: Routledge

Vallacher R. R., Nowak A., Read S. J. (2017), Rethinking Human Experience: The Promise of Computational Social Psychology. In: Computational Social Psychology, 3-12

Vallacher R. R., Nowak A. (2017), From Interaction to Synchronization in Social Relations. In: Computational Social Psychology, 208-228

Serfass D., Nowak A., Sherman R. (2017), Big Data in Psychological Research. In: Computational Social Psychology, 332-348

Nowak A., Vallacher R. R. (2017), The future of Computational Social Psychology. In: Computational Social Psychology, 349-367

Nowak A., Gelfand M. J., Borkowski W., Kruglanski A. (2017), Autocratic Recidivism. Computational Models of Why Revolutions Fail (DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190269098.003.0010). In: Values, Political Action, and
Change in the Middle East and the Arab Spring (ed. Mansoor Moaddel and Michele J. Gelfand), Oxford University Press, doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190269098.001.0001, ISBN: 9780190269098, s. 392

Pobiega E., Pobiega K., Winkowska-Nowak K. (red.) (2017). GeoGebra na 6 – Math Calculators. Warszawa (GeoGebra 6, Math Calculators). Wydawnictwo Fundacja AKCES

Pobiega E., Pobiega K., Winkowska-Nowak K. (red.) (2017.) Projekty edukacyjne z GeoGebrą.(School projects with GeoGebra) Warszawa. Wydawnictwo Fundacja AKCES

Praszkier, R. (2016). Empathy, mirror neurons and SYNC. Mind & Society, 15(1): 1- 25, doi: 10.1007/s11299-014-0160-x

Borkowski W. (2016), Memy – reinterpretacja systemowa, w Teksty z Ulicy, Zeszyt Memetyczny 17, Uniwersytet Śląski, Katowice, str. 35-59

Ziembowicz K., Rychwalska A., Samson K., Łucznik K., Ziembowicz M., Szóstek A., Nowak A. (2016), Medium Moderates the Message. How Users Adjust Their Communication Trajectories to Different Media in Collaborative Task Solving. PLoS ONE 11(6): e0157827.

Jarman, M.S., Nowak, A., Borkowski, W., Serfass, D. G., Wong, A. E., Valacher, R.R. (2015).The critical few: Anticonformists at the crossroads of minority opinion survival and collapse. JASSS 18 (1) 6,

Nowak, A., Andersen, J., Borkowski, W. (2015). Dynamics of Socio-Economic systems: attractors, rationality and meaning. Review of Behavioral Economics: Vol. 2: N0. 1-2, pp. 167-173,

Nowak A., Gelfand M., Borkowski W., Cohen D., Hernandez I. (2015), The Evolutionary Basis of Honor Cultures. Psychological Science 1-13, doi: 10.1177/0956797615602860

Winkielman, P., Ziembowicz, M., Nowak, A. (2015). The coherent and fluent mind: How unified consciousness is constructed from cross-modal inputs via integrated processing experiences. Frontiers in Psychology 83 (6), 1664-1078

Pitt, J., Busquets, D.,Diaconescu, A., Nowak, A., Rychwalska, A., Roszczynska, M. (2015). Algorithmic Self-Governance and the Design of Socio-Technical Systems. Proceedings of the European Conference on Social Intelligence (ECSI-2014). Barcelona, Spain, November 3-5, 2014. (ed.A. Herzig, E. Lorini). CEUR, ISSN 1613-0073, vol-1283, urn:nbn:de:0074-1283-4.

Nowak, A., Ziembowicz, K., Zabłocka-Bursa, A., Bartkowski, W. (2015). Wpływ społeczny z perspektywy obiektu wpływu – teoria i modele symulacyjne. Psychologia Społeczna.

Praszkier, R. (2015). Empowering Leadership: Embracing Endogenous Dynamics. Journal of Positive Management, 6(2): 34-58

Samson, K., Kostyszyn, P., (2015) Effects of cognitive load on trusting behaviour – An experiment using the trust game. PLoS One, 2015, 10.5: e0127680. ISSN 1932-6203

Zabłocka-Bursa, A., Nowak, A. (2015) Efekt kuli śnieżnej: Historia powstania wzajemnie uczącej się społeczności nauczycieli. [w:] A. Nowak, K. Winkowska-Nowak, K. Pobiega (red.), Wsparcie sieci liderów TIK w szkołach. Warszawa, s. 18-28

Zabłocka-Bursa, A., Nowak, A. (2015) Geneza ROSE – Skąd wziął się pomysł i po co to wszystko… [w:] A. Nowak, K. Winkowska-Nowak, K. Pobiega (red.), Wsparcie sieci liderów TIK w szkołach. Warszawa, s. 7-17

Nowak, A., Rychwalska, A., & Szamrej, J. (2014). Social, Psychological and Technological Determinants of Energy Use. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, 33(3), 42-47. ISSN: 0278-0097

Wong, A. E., Vallacher, R. R., & Nowak, A. (2014). Fractal dynamics in self-evaluation reveal self-concept clarity. Nonlinear dynamics, psychology, and life sciences, 18, 349-369.

Praszkier, R. (2014). Empathy, Mirror Neurons and SYNC. Mind and Society, doi: 10.1007/s11299-014-0160-x

Praszkier, R. and Bartoli, A. (2014). The role of civil society in the peace process of the Basque Country, International Journal of Peace Studies, 19(2): 69-93.

Zabłocka-Bursa, A., Winkowska-Nowak, K., Nowak, A. (2014). Kooperacja przez edukację: Wpływ szkoleń opartych na współpracy na wzrost kapitału społecznego nauczycieli. Studia Psychologiczne. t. 52, z. 4, s. 7–20;                      DOI: 10.2478/V10167-010-0094-4

Praszkier, R. Dawanie mocy. Kompedium, Kompedium CSR, Rzeczposopilta, 19.12.2014

Nowak, A. Winkowska-Nowak, K.&  Bree . D. (red.) (2013). Complex human dynamics: From minds to societies. Berlin: Springer Verglag.

Nowak, A., Vallacher, R. R., Strawinska, U., & Bree, D. S. (2013). Dynamical social psychology: An introduction. In A. Nowak, K. Winkowska-Nowak, & D. S. Bree (Eds.), Complex human dynamics: From minds to societies (pp. 1-19). Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Lisiecka, K. (2013). Group as a unit of analysis. W: A. Nowak, K. Winkowska-Nowak, D. Bree (red.). Complex human dynamics. From minds to societies, str. 209-226

Rychwalska, A. (2013). The Web of the Brain: Understanding Cognition through Functional Connectivity. W: A. Nowak, D. Bree, K. Winkowska-Nowak (red.). Complex human dynamics. From minds to societies, str. 21-34

Samson, K. (2013). Conflict and the complexity of cognitive processes. In: A. Nowak, K. Winkowska-Nowak, & D. Bree (Eds.), Complex human dynamics: From minds to societies. Berlin-Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, str. 93-110.

Roszczynska-Kurasinska, M., Kacprzyk, M., (2013). The dynamics of trust from the perspective of a trust game. In: A. Nowak, K. Winkowska-Nowak, D. Bree (Eds.). Complex human dynamics: from mind to societies. Berlin-Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, 191-209.

Praszkier, R. (2013). Social entrepreneurs open up closed worlds: the transformative influence of weak ties. W: A. Nowak, K. Winkowska-Nowak, D. Bree (red.). Complex human dynamics. From minds to societies, str. 111-130.

Zabłocka-Bursa, A., &  Praszkier, R. (2013). Social change initiated by social entrepreneurs. W: A. Nowak, K. Winkowska-Nowak, D. Bree (red.). Complex human dynamics. From minds to societies, pp. 153–169. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Wężowicz-Ziółkowska, D., Borkowski, W.,(2013). Kultura jako adaptacja. Kultura w paradygmacie przyrodoznawstwa (Culture as adaptation. Culture in paradigm of natural science) In: Adaptacje I . Język – Literatura – Sztuka, Edition: I, Chapter: 2, Publisher: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego, Editors: Wioletta Hajduk-Gawron, Agnieszka Madej, pp.25-40 ISBN: 1898-1593

De Raad, W.E., Nowak, A., Borkowski, W. (2013). Modeling dynamics of multicultural integration and conflict. In M. Gelfand and K. Sycara (Eds.), Modeling Dynamics of Multicultural Integration and Conflict (pp 183-197). New York: Springer.

Nowak, A., Ormerod, P., Borkowski, W. (2013). Self-image and the Emergence of Brand Loyalty in Networked Markets. In Complex Sciences, 281-290.

Ziembowicz, M., Nowak, A., Winkielman, P. (2013). When sounds look right and images sound correct: Cross-modal coherence enhances claims of pattern presence. Cognition 129 (2), 273-278.

Nowak, A., Bartkowski, W., Samson, K., Rychwalska, A., Kacprzyk,M., Roszczynska, M., Jagielska, M. (2013). No Need For Speed: Modeling Trend Adoption In A Heterogeneous Population. Advances in Complex Systems 16  (04n05)

Jeremy, P., Bourazeri, A., Nowak, A., Roszczynska-Kurasinska, M.,Rychwalska, A., Rodriguez Santiago, I., Lopez-Sanchez, M., Florea, M., Sanduleac, M. (2013). Transforming Big Data into Collective Awareness. Computer 46(6),

Nowak, A., Rychwalska, A., &  Borkowski, W. (2013). Why Simulate? To Develop a Mental Model. Journal of Artificial Societies & Social Simulation, 16(3), 17–17.

Research carried out in CCSNT involves extensive national and world-wide scientific collaboration. In particular, we work with:

  • Robin Vallacher (Florida Atlantic University)
  • Arie Kruglanski, Michele Gelfand (University of Maryland)
  • Jeff Johnson (Open University)
  • Jeremy Pitt (Imperial College London)
  • Paul Lukowicz (DFKI, University of Pasau)
  • Paul Ormerod (Centre for Decision Making Uncertainty at University College, London (UCL)
  • Maciej Lewenstein (The Institute of Photonic Sciences, ICFO)
  • Jorgen Andersen (Sorbona, Paris)
  • Michał Żochowski (University of Michigan)
  • Piotr Winkielman (University of California)
  • European Centre for Living Technology
  • Andrea Bartoli, Seton Hall University, New Jersey.
  • DST Innovsation Lab, Columbia University, New York, USA
  • Geoff Goodell and Tomaso Aste, University College London