COLLAPSE STUDY GUIDE - Collapse Study Guide Systems Theory...

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Collapse Study Guide Systems Theory – Discusses stability and change in cultural systems in terms of many interlocking factors. Subsystems – systems within the larger system, the number of interrelated entities or components that interact with themselves but affect the larger system. Homeostasis – when the subsystem is kept unchanged through negative feedback. Negative Feedback – when a variable in the system changes, and the response of the system is to reverse the change. Positive Feedback – when a variable in the system changes, and the response is to change the variable even more in the same direction. Law of Diminishing Returns – if one factor in production is increased, and the others remain the same, then overall returns will decrease. After a certain point, the cost of adding more production will eventually outpace the benefit from adding it. Bread and Circus Example – any level of activities undertaken to appease a mob eventually becomes the expected minimum levels of appeasement. Cognitive Dissonance – Holding a belief plainly obviously at odds with the evidence, usually because the belief is deeply embedded. Pain Avoidance – people’s decision making seems to be strongly influenced by a fear of pain, regret, or shame people will often make irrational decisions to avoid regret. Loss Aversion – people are more averse to losing money than they are happy gaining it. Economic Irrationality – when people behave in ways that go against their own economic interest.
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