Behavioral Geography and the Theoretical/Quantitative Revolution
Golledge, Reginald G., Geographical Analysis
Beginning with a position statement about the serendipitous nature of the emergence of both normative theory and quantitative methods in Geography, this chapter details the nature of the various contributions to both areas by Behavioral Geographers. Contributions to data collection and both qualitative and quantitative analysis are reviewed for the periods 1960 to the present. Particular emphasis is placed on contributions made by those interested in decision making and choice behavior, particularly in terms of the role of Spatial Cognition (theory and methods) in fostering and extending those dual "revolutions." Other themes emphasize the development of avenues of publication from the "gray literature" of Department Discussion Papers to the emergence of the journal Geographical Analysis and support by geographers for a variety of interdisciplinary journals. A final focus is on the great variety of themes pursued by the Behavioral Geographer of today, and some suggestions are made regarding possible avenues for future research.
The late 1950s and early 1960s revealed the beginnings of a paradigm shift in Geography. This shift included a movement from descriptive to theoretical emphasis, and a consequent (and necessary) extension of geographic methods into the quantitative realm. Traditionally labeled the "Quantitative Revolution," I have always believed that it was equally a theoretical revolution as much as a quantitative revolution. My reasons are straightforward: (1) the late 1950s saw the introduction of agricultural, industrial, and urban location theory into Geography; (2) coincidentally, Walter Isard published an important book on Location and Space-Economy (1956) in which he examined the nature and potential applications of location theory in a spatial and regional context. Research into the theory and applications of urban systems and central place theory were prominent under the leadership of William Garrison and his outstanding group of graduate student researchers at the University of Washington, Seattle (see Garrison 1960). Research into the theory and applications (post hoc) of agricultural and industrial location decisions were prominent under the leadership of Harold H. McCarty at the University of lowa (see McCarty, Hook, and Knos 1956). Transportation theory and modeling was prominent at Chicago (Harold Mayer: see Mayer and Kohn 1960) and Northwestern (Edward J. Taaffe: see Taaffe, Morill and Gould 1963). The various coworkers and disciples of these early leaders spread the revolution beyond the original centers to Michigan, Pittsburgh, Penn State, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan State, and Ohio State--that is a concentration of effort in the Big 10 universities. William Bunge's book Theoretical Geography (1962) provided an outstanding stimulus for extending theoretical thinking deeper and deeper into traditional areas of geographical interest, including topics such as intraurban movement and migration (Pitts 1962; Boyce and Clark 1963; Morrill 1963; Clark 1965; Brown 1968; Moore 1970; and others), settlement patterns and consumer behavior (Berry 1961; King 1961; Tennant 1962; Pred 1964; Rushton 1964; Barnum, Kasperson, and Kiuchi 1965; Golledge 1966; Thomas 1968; Simmons 1974; and others), transportation (Gould 1959; Marble 1959; Kansky 1963; Smith, Taafe, and King 1968; Hanson 1970; etc.), regional scientists (such as Stevens [Stevens and Brackett 1967] and Boyce [Boyce and Clark 1963]), and urban structure (including regional scientists Alonso  and others). The outcome of all this was the rapid spread of interest in spatial theory, spatial analysis, and computational methods and models.
But this explosion of new interest also stimulated many other new research directions in both Human and Physical Geography (see Chorley and Haggett 1967). Much of this spread was by person-to-person interactions and exchange (Hagerstrand 1957, 1970, …
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Publication information: Article title: Behavioral Geography and the Theoretical/Quantitative Revolution. Contributors: Golledge, Reginald G. - Author. Journal title: Geographical Analysis. Volume: 40. Issue: 3 Publication date: July 2008. Page number: 239+. © 2008 Ohio State University Press. COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale Group.
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