Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis


Richards, Ellen H. (Ellen Henrietta), 1842-1911; Human beings--Effect of environment on; Ecology--United States--History;


In the late 1880s, after years of study and hard work, Ellen Richards began publishing her ideas on the home and the natural and urban environment. She called for the knowledge of basic scientific principles to be available to everyone. She believed that ignorance was holding back the public from altering their environment to make life healthier, happier, and safer. Over one hundred years later, Malcolm Gladwell wrote the book The Tipping Point. In his book, Gladwell explores the Broken Windows Theory that social scientists claimed they developed in the 1980s. The Broken Windows Theory states that there is a connection between how people act and the environments in which they live. Crime tended to be more prevalent in areas of the city that were degraded, and proponents of the theory believed that by cleaning up those neighborhoods crime would decrease. If the broken windows were fixed, attitudes and behavior would change for the better. The theory was not a new idea, and its origins can be found in the work of Ellen Richards.

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University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

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