REACTION SYSTEMS AND INSTABILITY IN INTERPERSONAL AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS.
STATE UNIV OF NEW YORK BUFFALO DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
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The paper concerns the effect of one partys behavior on anothers. Change in one partys level of output on a given dimension often produces reciprocal change in the other partys level of output on the same or another dimension. Reciprocal changes are sequenced in various ways e.g., in the form of vicious or benevolent circles, which move more or less rapidly, and sometimes slow down and stop or even reverse direction. A geometrical formulation may be useful for interpreting these various sequences. A variety of reaction functions can be plotted, which show the level of output on any dimension emitted by one party in response to the other partys level of output on the same or another dimension. When both partys reaction functions are presented in the same space, a reaction system emerges. One such system, consisting of two S-shaped curves may be useful for interpreting the concept of instability in the theory of international relations. This system has two equilibrium points, a lower peaceful one and an upper conflictful one. The system also has two points of no return. If the relationship between the parties is at one equilibrium point, and a momentary temporary force moves one or both parties over a point of no return for a long enough period, the relationship will move to the other equilibrium point, despite the subsequent abatement of the momentary force. Hence, one interpretation of instability is the closeness of the points of no return to the equilibrium point that is currently occupied.
- Government and Political Science