TRIGGER EFFECT 1)2)
An initially small variation in a process, which may initiate an amplifying mutual causal process.
A trigger effect may, in some cases, "give rise to rapid and unexpected changes" (F. ROBB, 1989, p.54).
It corresponds to the sudden dissipation of a quantity of potential energy, many times in a quite explosive way. Of course, a potential for instability must exist, if regulation by negative feedbacks and homeostasis are to be overcomed.
Being the case, the onset of growing and eventually, giant fluctuations may lead to the eventual destruction or transformation of the system.
Trigger effects come in very different scales in time and space. The most insidious are the ones resulting from a long and slow accumulation of some stress in the system, as for example the sudden rupture of equilibrium in a sismic fault, or arterial embolism resulting from a blood clot.
At the planetary system level, man's brain may be the most important source of trigger effects, due to its very high rate of energy processing.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
We thank the following partners for making the open access of this volume possible: