Research Perspectives / Public Policy / Social Science

Why We Can’t Compare Disasters: WTC, Murrah, Katrina & More – SDP#37

There are several reasons why each disaster should be studied as an individual unit. By isolating communications and geography specific to time, context and situation, Dr. Perrodin demonstrates the inherent problems with comparing disasters. He also notes the incredible impact of “lived experiences” and longitudinal demographic factors that contributed to the improbable rescue of 500,000 people in only 9 hours from Lower Manhattan on 9/11/01.

Read More

Sophie’s Choice, Moral Dilemmas & 9/11 Research Design Issues – SDP#36

Moral dilemmas center ethical choices in rescue operations in which the grueling decision is between, at times, equally-deserving alternatives. Dr. Perrodin also critiques a safety response article comparing the actions of rescuers present at the Murrah Building and rescuers present at the World Trade Center – noting such comparisons hold great challenges to distilling information that can be generalized to other settings.

Read More

One Question Predicted Emotional Breakdown Better Than Any Other – SDP#34

A WWII field psychiatrist found that infantry soldiers in the 5th Army survived a maximum of 238 aggregate combat days (ACD) before a fate of (1) physical casualty, (2) prisoner of war, or (3) psychiatric casualty. For the first time, it was realized that every soldier had a “finite voltage” and sooner or later would break – even if they appeared to have held up magnificently under incredible stress. This understanding demarked a sharp change in thinking that previously held that soldiers that “broke” under pressure did so only due to some psychological flaw.

Read More

Forts, Foraging, Fishing, Nostalgia & Outrage – Being a 1980’s Kid – SDP #25

Articles and studies concur that today’s children do not enjoy the freedom of previous generations – and the effects are not making kid’s safer, but are actually destroying children’s coupling with nature and that deprivation is placing them at increased risks for depression and anxiety. We’ve gone too far and have insulated children from the sun, cold, wind, spider webs, raindrops, etc.

Read More