Elasticity (Encyclopedia of Science)
Just about every solid material possesses some degree of elasticity, and so do most liquids. Some common highly elastic products are rubber bands, kitchen spatulas, and bicycle tires. Even buildings and bridges have some degree of elasticity (or give) so they can adjust to small shifts in Earth's surface.
Elasticity is a chemical property that allows a solid body to return to its original shape after an outside force is removed. The key to determining whether a substance is elastic is to apply a force to it. With sufficient force, the substance should change its size, shape, or volume. If, when the force is removed, the sample returns to its original state, then it is elastic. If the substance returns only partially (or not at all) to its original state, it is called inelastic.
If too much force is applied, the material is in danger of reaching its elastic limit. The elastic limit is the point at which the material is bent beyond its ability to return to its original shape. Once the elastic limit is passed, the material will experience permanent reshaping, called plastic deformation, and will no longer act as an elastic substance.
This stretching/recoiling activity is easily seen by hanging a weight from a spring: if the weight is within the spring's elastic capacity, the spring will bounce back (in...
(The entire section is 553 words.)
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Elasticity (Encyclopedia of Small Business)
Elasticity is a measure of the responsiveness of one variable to changes in some other variable. For example, advertising elasticity is the relationship between a change in a firm's advertising budget and the resulting change in product sales. Economists are often interested in the price elasticity of demand, which measures the response of the quantity of an item purchased to a change in the item's price. Elasticity measures are reported as a proportional or percent change in the variable being studied. The general formula for elasticity, represented by the letter "E" in the equation below, is:
E percent change in x / percent change in y.
Elasticity can be zero, one, greater than one, less than one, or infinite. When elasticity is equal to one, there is unit elasticity. This means the proportional change in one variable is equal to the proportional change in another variable, or in other words, the two variables are directly related and move together. When elasticity is greater than one, the proportional change in x is greater than the proportional change in y and the situation is said to be elastic.
Inelastic situations result when the proportional change in x is less than the proportional change in y. Perfectly inelastic situations result when any change in y will have an infinite effect in x. Finally, perfectly elastic situations result when any change in y will result in no change in x. A special case known as unitary elasticity of demand occurs if total revenue stays the same when prices change.
ELASTICITY FOR MANAGERIAL DECISION MAKING
Economists compute several different elasticity measures, including the price elasticity of demand, the price elasticity of supply, and the income elasticity of demand. Elasticity is typically defined in terms of changes in total revenue since that is of primary importance to managers, CEOs, and marketers. For managers, a key point in the discussions of demand is what happens when they raise prices for their products and services. It is important to know the extent to which a percentage increase in unit price will affect the demand for a product. With elastic demand, total revenue will decrease if the price is raised. With inelastic demand, however, total revenue will increase if the price is raised.
The possibility of raising prices and increasing dollar sales (total revenue) at the same time is very attractive to managers. This occurs only if the demand curve is inelastic. Here total revenue will increase if the price is raised, but total costs probably will not increase and, in fact, could go down. Since profit is equal to total revenue minus total costs, profit will increase as price is increased when demand for a product is inelastic. It is important to note that an entire demand cure is neither elastic or inelastic; it only has the particular condition for a change in total revenue between two points on the curve (and not along the whole curve).
Demand elasticity is affected by the availability of substitutes, the urgency of need, and the importance of the item in the customer's budget. Substitutes are products that offer the buyer a choice. For example, many consumers see corn chips as a good or homogeneous substitute for potato chips, or see sliced ham as a substitute for sliced turkey. The more substitutes available, the greater will be the elasticity of demand. If consumers see products as extremely different or heterogeneous, however, then a particular need cannot easily be satisfied by substitutes. In contrast to a product with many substitutes, a product with few or no substitutesike gasolineill have an inelastic demand curve. Similarly, demand for products that are urgently needed or are very important to a person's budget will tend to be inelastic. It is important for managers to understand the price elasticity of their products and services in order to set prices appropriately to maximize firm profits and revenues.
Hodrick, Laurie Simon. "Does Price Elasticity Affect Corporate Financial Decisions?" Journal of Financial Economics. May 1999.
Montgomery, Alan L., and Peter E. Rossi. "Estimating Price Elasticity with Theory-Based Priors." Journal of Marketing Research. November 1999.
Perreault, William E. Jr., and E. Jerome McCarthy. Basic Marketing: A Global-Managerial Approach. McGraw-Hill, 1997.
Elasticity (International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis)
"The Elasticity of the Psychoanalytic Technique" is the title of a paper that Sándor Ferenczi gave to the Budapest Psychoanalytic Society, and which was first published in 1928. In essence he described the procedure he had introduced in his paper on the "contra-indications of the active technique" (1926), in which he recommended using relaxation to reduce tension in certain difficult cases. In two other articles from the same period ("Family Adaptation to the Child" and "The Problem of the End of Analysis") he dealt with difficulties in the educational environment. The question became one of how far the idea of elasticity could be taken. In 1967, Michael Balint would write on Ferenczi's problem, "His earlier experiences had familiarized him with two models: one was the classic technique with its objective and benevolent passivity, and apparently imperturbable and unlimited patience; the other was the active technique with its well-directed interventions founded on attentive observation and empathy."
In the 1928 paper, Ferenczi developed the technical importance of tact in deciding on the right moment to communicate to the patient any conjectures the analyst may have made, "based essentially on the dissection of our own Self." He stressed the notion of modesty, which should be "the expression of the acceptance of the limits to our knowledge," and to this end he preferred from the beginning of treatment to adopt a rather pessimistic attitude, in order to avoid creating enthusiastic confidence in the future patient, a confidence that often camouflaged "a healthy dose of distrust." Nothing could be more harmful, he continued, "than the attitude of a schoolmaster or an authoritarian doctor." He thus spoke of Einfühlung (feeling-with, empathy) as of a rule, from which he deduced the necessity, for the analyst, of developing "a rigorous control of his own narcissism and intense vigilance with regard to his own affective reactions." Analysts would have to "guess when the patient's esthetic sentiments have been offended by our own attitude" and, supporting this displeasure, behave like those little "culbutos" (small figures with lead ballast in their base that always return to a vertical position). Ferenczi proposed "a perpetual oscillation between feeling-with, self-observation and judgment activity."
He concluded this reflection on the counter-transference with a "metapsychology of the technique," denouncing the "fanaticism of interpretation as an infantile disease of analysis" because, in order for patients to become free of all emotional binds, they must "abandon, at least provisionally, all sorts of superegos, including that of the analyst." This position borders on "a demand for elasticity in the analysts themselves," a "metapsychology of the analysts." This then makes it absolutely essential to comply with the second rule of psychoanalysis, already problematic at the time, that analysts must themselves be analyzed.
See also: Active technique; Ferenczi, Sándor; Tact; Technique with adults, psychoanalytic.
Balint, Michael. (1967). Introduction. In Sándor Ferenczi, Oeuvres complètes (Vol. 4). Paris: Payot, 1982.
Ferenczi, Sándor. (1926). Contre-indications de la technique active. In his Oeuvres complètes (Vol. 3, pp. 389-428). Paris, Payot.
. (1926). Le problème de l'affirmation du déplaisir. In his Oeuvres complètes (Vol. 3, pp. 389-428). Paris: Payot
. (1928). The elasticity of psycho-analytic technique. In M. S. Bergmann and F. R. Hartman (Eds.), The evolution of psychoanalytic technique. New York: Basic Books.