James Dixon

Professor and Director of Ecological Psychology

Psychological Sciences

Director of the Center for the Ecological Study of Perception & Action

Research Interests

Dr. Dixon’s research includes the study of self-organization in perception, action, and cognition. He also has an interest in the study of thermodynamic origins of behavior. Other interests are:

  • Complex behavior in non-living dissipative systems
  • Fractal and multi fractal analysis



General Psychology I


Control and Coordination of Action

Longitudinal Methods



Davis, T. J., Kondepudi, D., Kay, B. A., Dixon, J. A. (2016). Spontaneous inter-entity coordination in a dissipative structure. Ecological Psychology, 28, 23€“36.

Davis, T. J., Brooks, T. R., & Dixon, J. A. (2016). Multi-scale interactions in interpersonal coordination. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 5, 25-43. doi:10.1016/j.jshs.2016.01.015

Dixon, J. A., Kondepudi, D., Kay, B. A. & Davis, T. J. (2016). End-directedness and context in non-living dissipative systems. In E. N. Dzhafarov (Ed.), Contextuality from Quantum Physics to Psychology (pp. 185-206). World Scientific Press, Hackensack, NJ.

Satterwhite-Warden, J., Kondepudi, D., Dixon, J. A., & Rusling, J. (2015). Co-operative motion of multiple Benzoquinone (BQ) disks at the air-water interface. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 17, 29891-29898.

Kondepudi, D., Kay, B., & Dixon, J. A. (2015). End-directed evolution and the emergence of energy-seeking behavior in a complex system. Physical Review E, 91(5), 050902.

Dixon, J. A., Stephen, D. G., Boncoddo, R. A. , & Anastas, J. (2010). The self-organization of cognitive structure. In B. Ross (Ed.), The psychology of learning & motivation, vol. 52, (pp. 343-384). San Diego, CA: Elsevier.

Stephen, D. G., Boncoddo, R. A., Magnuson, J. S., & Dixon, J. A. (2009). The dynamics of insight: Mathematical discovery as a phase transition. Memory & Cognition, 37, 1132-1149.

Boncoddo, R., Dixon, J. A., & Kelley, E. (2010). The emergence of a novel representation from action: Evidence from preschoolers. Developmental Science, 13, 370-377.

Stephen, D. G., Dixon, J. A., & Isenhower, R. (2009). Dynamics of representational change: Action, entropy, & cognition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 35, 1811-1822.

Stephen, D. G., & Dixon, J. A. (2009). The self-organization of insight: Entropy and power laws in problem solving. Journal of Problem Solving, 2, 72-101.

James Dixon
Contact Information
Mailing AddressUnit 1020
Office LocationBousfield 126
LinkJames Dixon Website