The conceptual framework for a man's search for meaning

dimpledbrain header image 2

Who are James Wilson and George Kelling?

April 15th, 2011 by dimpledbrain

Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it’s unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside.

Or consider a sidewalk. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of trash from take-out restaurants there or breaking into cars.

The 2 examples above form the theory of broken windows introduced by the 2 gentlemen some 30 years ago. What does this mean?

  1. You may observe that there is always a wave of repeated events when something occurs. For instance, when you see a car accident or a car breakdown, you can almost tell there will be more ahead. Separately, a tow truck driver once told me that he could expect to transport a few more broken down vehicles throughout the day if he gets one in the morning. And then there are days with absolutely no vehicles to tow! How strange. Or consider air plane crashes, mass shooting or street robbery cases. One newspaper report always leads to many other similar reports. Stranger still, isn’t it?
  2. From my personal observations – (a) people tend to behave differently in a road side stall vs a 5 star hotel. (If the environment doesn’t matter then theoretically speaking, people should behave indifferently). (b) compare between a posh neighbourhood vs a low class one. One can immediately tell the difference in term of cleanliness. The interesting question to ask is are they cleaner because they are posh?
  3. What can we do? Always nip it in the bud. Don’t ignore microtrends or small things that are taking place. Put out the flame while you still can.
  4. Criticism – is the broken windows theory a case of correlation (i.e. heightened attention) or causation (one thing leading to another?)

If you can’t reconcile with the broken windows theory, then just nip things that you don’t want to happen in the bud. I don’t think you will dispute that. Unless it’s a broken window.

Nip nip nip.

Tags:   · · · 11 Comments

Leave a Comment

11 responses so far ↓

  • It’s actually a great and helpful piece of info.I’m glad that you shared this useful info with us.Please keep us informed like this.Thanks for sharing

  • I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog.Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays

  • I will right away grab your rss as I can not find your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service.Do you have any? Please let me know so that I could subscribe.Thanks

  • I’m delighted that I’ve noticed this weblog. Finally anything not a junk, which we undergo extremely frequently. The web site is lovingly serviced and kept as much as date. So it have to be, thank you for sharing this with us.

  • I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this blog.I’m hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the upcoming also.In fact your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own blog now.Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly.Your write up is a great example of it

  • Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning extra on this topic. If potential, as you achieve expertise, would you mind updating your weblog with extra data? It is extremely helpful for me.

  • I’m not sure where you are getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful information I was looking for this information for my mission.

  • Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is really informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future. A lot of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  • I like the valuable info you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I am quite certain I’ll learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  • It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you some interesting things or tips. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read even more things about it!

  • It is really a nice and helpful piece of info.I’m glad that you shared this helpful info with us.Please keep us up to date like this.Thanks for sharing