ERIC Number: ED214691
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: N/A
Catastrophe Models: Some Illustrations and Potential for Social Impact Assessment.
England, J. Lynn; Hooper, Douglas A.
Catastrophe theory may provide a possible model for describing and explaining the boom town phenomena at a generalized level; catastrophe models deal with phenomena in which changes in continuous independent variables lead to sudden, or abrupt, discontinuous changes in a dependent variable. Rural energy boom towns are the result of sudden, abrupt changes in rural communities and the changes can be regarded as catastrophe events. Catastrophe models can be used to explain and describe two of these events--the overall community change from a relatively stable rural community to a boom town, and the change in the integrative mechanisms in the community from informal to institutional. Used properly, with the appropriate phenomena, catastrophe models can be very beneficial in social impact assessment (SIA). Catastrophe models can bring some order and understanding to events that initially appear to be random or inexplicable by other models or theories, may force the search for independent variables that are related to the behavior observed (the catastrophe), and can point to areas or variables that need further research. The main drawback to using catastrophe models is that only a limited number of variables can be considered. (BRR)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Brigham Young Univ., Provo, UT.