As the broken Windows theory to explain the chaos around you

Ruin not in toilets, ruin in heads.

– M. A. Bulgakov –In 1969, American psychologist Philip Zimbardo conducted a simple experiment. He parked two identical cars without numbers on two different streets, one in the dysfunctional new York the Bronx and one in Palo Alto in California, where they live mostly University professors. In the Bronx abandoned the car started to «undress» in ten minutes, and not some delinquent youth, and a well-dressed couple with a baby, who was busily removed car battery and the radiator grille. After a couple of days all the Windows in the car were smashed, the car gutted, and the remaining skeleton serves as a platform for children to play. The car in Palo Alto stood untouched a week, after which Zimbardo took a hammer and smashed up one of the Windows. After a few hours the machine is in a prosperous quarter it was impossible to distinguish from cars in the Bronx — it was completely disassembled and parts are turned upside down. Did it not visiting the bullies, and decent locals.


So what’s the point?

Human nature is stupid, besprovodnaya gregariousness and imitation. To take an example, to repeat after someone — a characteristic feature of any society. And it doesn’t always matter a person’s status — for example, including and bad, they take the idols and pals in the neighborhood. In such situations, and finds the meaning of the notorious baby «And if he jumped, you, too, for him again?», because there, where he showed his one, soon will be a crowd. The sad thing is, it is best this sequence is in very bad cases, even if they are prohibited by law. Because shit is easier than to create.

In 1982 this problem so interested James Wilson and George Kelling, which they hastened to Express it in one theory, which was called «broken Windows Theory». The window appeared for a reason: just for a basis was taken the window, and if someone broke the glass in the house and no one put a new, soon no whole window in this house will not remain, and then start looting. In other words, clear signs of confusion and non-compliance by the people’s ethics provoke others also forget about the rules and behave like a pig.

Simply put, the broken window of your house, you did not prevent, may cause your prosperous district with expensive apartments and adoring the tranquility of the neighbors may eventually turn into full of passion the favella. However, we are increasingly provokes utilities who has no money for repairs, then masters is not enough.

So wither over time, our homes, turning into something that makes more likely to think about changing citizenship. The dilapidated staircase is a strong Association with reflux and the decline and, therefore, one thrown cigarette butt and a packet of cigarettes definitely will not spoil its appearance. And the pack will fly two, three, and then it will turn into a dump.

It has mixed too many purely human from the unit «all the shit, and I can not?» to the banal thrust to something simple. Known to break — not to build, and putting things in order always takes more time and effort, and to break the rules is much easier than to follow them. How many want to introduce laws, but if one freely smoke a cigarette in the wrong place — near tasmola second. Can impose fines for garbage, but if you mess around, how can you not support the pioneers? That’s the whole problem: people are so used to answer and to rely on the opinion of the masses that over time, ready to do completely illegal things, right down to the looting, violence and other unpleasant things. And characteristically, can be understood if it is someone intentionally, or whether it is so.

And it’s not just in our culture, this is clearly shown by the piles of garbage in a supposedly «civilized» Italy and Belgium, as well as the American method of application of the theory.

The broken Windows theory » found its practical application in 1993, when he was elected mayor of new York Rudolph Giuliani launched a campaign to combat street crime. In the framework of the programme in certain parts of the city is constantly monitored street criminal activity, and responsibility for suppression was the responsibility of the district police chiefs. According to the plan of the authorities, such a system would allow police to curb the rising trend of crime at an early stage, not allowing them to develop in a large crime wave. The first police Commissioner of new York, who was appointed Giuliani, was William Bratton. Was proclaimed a policy of «zero tolerance of delinquency». The secret was that they began to fight with such petty crimes, which his predecessors and was not paying attention: fights, graffiti, illegal Parking, littering and Smoking in the wrong place. As a result, by the end of 1990-ies new York became the safest metropolis in the United States, and the number committed there crimes decreased 2.5 times.Notice how during the next growing military rebellion the parties to the conflict. If one of the parties to the conflict first the number of souls was at times more than the other hand, in its ranks are the new recruits will come much faster and harder than if the balance of forces was equal. Because used people for its long history that the truth is always the majority of those who have power. Compare with the example for their abominable deeds, but when he sees that people are breaking the window — he grabs a stone and throws it in there. Because from childhood we were raised to be like everyone else, and that’s what happens when raising a herd. And maybe someone will think about the immorality of the action, but this does not mean that it will not repeat itself.

By the way, if you look at the comments of any post, any video, and be there to shit, you notice how the crowd saw the signal to attack will add fuel to the fire. Even if a video of meowing kittens to write something unflattering about mother of the above commentator, or something unflattering about Ukraine or Russia, as other fighters of the words support in new Orleans.

Criticism of the theory


However, such practical experiments is not entirely correct from a scientific point of view. Special study devoted to this issue, relied mainly on the analysis between clean streets and level of crime in different cities, however, these data can also be interpreted ambiguously. But the correlation itself says nothing about cause-and-effect relationships between the studied phenomena. For example, both factors (crime and cleanliness) can be determined by some third, unknown factor; cleanliness may not be the cause but the consequence of the low level of crime, etc. Therefore, many experts doubted the validity of the theory of broken Windows. In particular, disputed the assertion that the failure of others, some rules can encourage people to violate others.

For the final resolution of the dispute needed simply experiments. Sociologists, University of Groningen, has conducted six such experiments in the streets of his native city. As a result of these studies, it became clear that the violation of social norms can increase, like a snowball, and you need to deal with the first manifestations, because antisocial behavior can quickly become habitual for many and then the system will maintain itself.

Look at yourself

But in order for this to work, you need to start with yourself. This is the case when the principle of «not ssy in the stairwell, do not spit in the Elevator, don’t leave garbage bins, go by the rules, give in place in public transport, don’t give and don’t take bribes, don’t get drunk three sheets, respect their history and culture — and you yourself will not notice how you find yourself in a civilized state.» If reigns Alpine purity and prosperity, it is likely that people will not throw your garbage on this beauty. Well, it would be so good not to let others litter.

No need to be arrogant and annoying, as a fighter with the people’s sobriety, «Leo against» or plain janitor, because for that you can grab at delicate places and only cause hostility. Civic engagement we have, unfortunately, too low, and not the fact that your appearance with a large bag, in which you voluntarily hand over the trash, you will help — most likely, people will be against it. It should deal with people like mayor Giuliano, but they do not. So you’ll have to stop shitting themselves and going with the bat, while advocating cleanliness and order. Maybe then the fire will take the same pride as in Zurich.

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