From Academic Kids

Interaction is a kind of action which occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction instead of a one-way causal effect. Combinations of many simple interactions can lead to surprising emergent phenomena. It has different tailored meanings in various sciences.

Examples of interaction include:


Chemistry and Medicine

In medicine, most medications can be safely used with other medicines but particular combinations of medicines need to be monitored for interactions, often by the pharmacist.

Interactions between drugs fall generally into one of two main categories; pharmacodynamic (involving the actions of the two interacting drugs), and pharmacokinetic (involving the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of one or both of the interacting drugs upon the other).

Sometimes two or medications are used together to create an extra effect - e.g. two different pain killers to provide more complete pain control. These interactions are usually intentional but need to be monitored by the doctor because patients can end up with more effect than is actually required.

Sometimes two or more medications work against each other. These interactions are usually well-known and avoided unless both medicines are essential. Careful monitoring is used to prevent problems from the results of the interaction.

Other interactions may cause one medicine to have less or more effect than expected and these are usually managed by a dosage adjustment.


In communications, interactive communication occurs when sources take turns transmitting messages between one another. This should be distinguished from transactive communication, in which sources transmit messages simultaneously.


In media, interactivity is a feature of the media in question. As a result of digitalization and convergence the consumption of media is becoming more interactive. In media the strive for interaction is also a cultural trend.


In physics, an interaction specifically refers to the action of one physical object upon another and results in an interaction energy - the physical objects under consideration may range from point particles to quantum fields. For example, the interaction of charged particles takes place through the mediation of electromagnetic fields, whereas beta decay occurs by means of the weak interaction. There are believed to be four fundamental interactions in Nature.


In sociology, social interaction is a dynamic, changing sequence of social actions between individuals (or groups) who modify their actions and reactions due to the actions by their interaction partner(s). Social interactions can be differentiated into:

  • accidental - not planned and likely not repeated. For example, asking a stranger for directions or shopkeeper for product availabity.
  • repeated - not planned, bound to happen from time to time. For example, accidentaly meeting a neigbour from time to time when walking on your street;
  • regular - not planned, but very common, likely to raise questions when missed. Meeting a doorman or a security guard every workday in your workplace, dining every day in the same restaurant, etc.
  • regulated - planned and regulated by customs or law, will definetly raise questions when missed. Interaction in a workplace (coming to work, staff meetings, etc.), family, etc.

Social interactions form the basis for social relations.

See also

es:Interacción ja:相互作用 pl:Oddziaływanie


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