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What is the Domino Effect

Understanding What the Domino Effect is With Diverse Applications

This article will help you understand the Domino Effect and its varied applications. Read more...
Penlighten Staff
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
Domino effect is a concept that indicates how a change in one object, leads to a chain reaction of changes in all the other surrounding objects. The change in the former object i.e. the object that was subjected to a change first will have a minor change but it will still affect other things around it. The time-span in which changes in the other objects occur is fast.

The domino dffect was derived from the Domino Theory. The theory states that if a strong nation in a region comes under the control of a communist nation from another region, then the other nations in the former region will follow the same trend, in the form of a Dominic Effect. This theory was first used by the 34th President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower to describe the prognoses of the communist expansion in Asia if Indochina (India and China) was taken over by a communist country.

This is a very generalized term that can be applied in various streams of study. Let's look at different applications.

The classical example to describe the domino effect can be explained and observed by experimenting with the game 'Dominoes'. The rectangular blocks used in the game are to be arranged vertically upright in a standing position, one after the other. The blocks are to be placed close to each other in any order. You can form them into a simple line or a curve or a circle. Once you have placed them, push the first leading block gently. This mild push of yours will develop into a chain reaction in which all the other domino blocks also end up collapsing because of the fall of the first block on the second, second on the third, third on the fourth and so on... till the last block. This is the simplest way to understand the domino effect.

The concept of the domino effect can be applied as a metaphor in many different studies. Let's now look at various applications of this effect that we can or have observed in our regular lives.

In Finance

The domino effect can also be seen in the interactions and transactions between different economies or countries. An important characteristic of the Dominic Effect is that the initial change should be minor. So, let's consider change in price of a commodity, say Petrol. The moment the price of petrol is increased by the OPEC countries, the other countries will also immediately revise their prices in their accordance.

Another great example can be of the stock market. When an XYZ Company makes an announcement to issue bonus or dividends the immediate reaction is that the price of the shares will rise quickly. This is because the announcement made indicates that the future stock earnings are going to be high. The investors look at maximizing their profit and invest in the shares of the XYZ Company. Because of the increase in the demand of XYZ Company's share the price of the shares rise. Similarly if the rumors of a company's bankruptcy are spread, within no time the investors will withdraw their investments from that company's share and the price of the share will fall down drastically.

In Biological Science

Now let's look at an example of the domino effect in biological science. For this, we'll observe the chain reaction involved in the immune system of a human body and how it works to fight away ailments. One of the components of our immune system is the 'Complement System'. The complement system is in fact a cascade of enzymes that is triggered by a number of factors. The moment any of these triggers are sensed by our body the complement starts - clustering the antigens, tearing the membranes of the foreign cell, drawing macrophages and neutrophils and enhancing the phagocytosis of antigens. This is in the form of a chain reaction, one after the other, hence can be looked at as a domino effect.

In Psychology

You must have already experienced the domino effect in psychological terms. Let's say your mom is upset about something or is in a bad mood. As mom takes maximum care of your needs and of the house, it is certain that her bad mood and temperament will distort her chores. She might not pack lunch for you, might scold you for not keeping your things in place and might even end up having a fight with dad. It's all a chain reaction which will leave its effect on you too, in the form of worry, anger or anxiety. In this case your mom's anger is passed on to the work she performs and thus has affected you, and further carrying on this reaction, you may pass your worry or frustration to someone else. This is a domino effect.

In the Spiritual-Psychology

This is a little overlapping with the psychological example of the domino effect. This can be elaborated by taking the example of the teachings and the philosophy explained and conceptualized in the movie and now the best selling book, 'The Secret'. In the book, The Secret, it is stated that one attracts everything to himself, be it good or bad; Like attracts like! Therefore if your thoughts are good and positive, everything good will happen to you, because when you are happy you can take bad remarks and comments without feeling bad about them, but if you are in a negative phase even an "Excuse me!" said by someone will prick you. If you think good and say good things, the good will keep following you.

Imagine, you wake up happy in the morning, everything happens on time, you run into a pup or a baby and it makes your day! Further you walk up and someone compliments you with "You look beautiful/handsome today" and if you have missed your bus or train you find your colleague right next to you waiting in a car offering you a lift. The good things keep coming up, provided you keep yourself and your thoughts positive and full of love. I don't know how many of you believe in this, but it certainly works; if not for everything then for a few things that you feel passionately about. You may not even realize it!

I honestly didn't know I'd end up coming with so many applications of the domino effect. This again kept happening in the form of a chain reaction. As I stared writing the first part other parts just kept following.