Social and Behavioral Aspects of the Carrying Capacity of Natural Environments

  • William R. CattonJr.
Part of the Human Behavior and Environment book series (HUBE, volume 6)


“Yellowstone Campgrounds Full” in big letters on a huge plywood sign at the park entrance was the welcome encountered by many visitors arriving on summer afternoons in recent years at the world’s oldest national park. In view of the apparent stress-mediating value of outdoor recreation in an “age of anxiety” (Driver, 1972, pp. 236–237), and in view of other functions of play behavior not specific to humans (Fagen, 1981), the predicament of these visitors is not unimportant. It typifies many situations that call for new forms of inquiry extending beyond conventional patterns of social-psychological research on effects of density and crowding. These new lines of investigation require clear comprehension of a concept not yet common in the vocabulary of traditional social-psychological research: carrying capacity.


National Park Carry Capacity Sustained Yield Human Ecology National Park Service 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • William R. CattonJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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