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Preamble: RPM—An Evolving Framework
The Reasonable Person Model (RPM) grew from many ideas and directions. The person who played the lead role in its formulation, development, and insights is Stephen Kaplan. RPM is inspired by his vision, the breadth of his knowledge, intellectual rigor, and enormous concern to make the world a better place.
Generations of students who have taken courses with Steve have benefited from his perspective. They have shared and discussed RPM—even before it had been given its name—in its various phases. They discovered that the framework is adaptable and useful in their personal lives, their approach to their education, and their professional work. They often found themselves telling others about the ideas generated by Steve’s class because they found them so exciting and applicable.
Steve’s writings have also served to share RPM and the conceptualizations embedded in it. The impact of his work on Attention Restoration Theory, the role of the natural environment in well-being, the centrality of “environment” to psychology, the role of clarity, and many other elements of RPM has been enormous—beyond what any of us can assess. It has spawned programs yielding an understanding of important ways in which the environment can respond to informational and emotional needs of human functioning in an uncertain world. And so RPM continues to evolve.
This book could not better honor Steve’s influential contributions. Many of the authors were at one time students in Steve’s classes and have found RPM to be useful in their own work. Others never took a class with Steve but have also discovered many ways that RPM is a framework that extends their own contributions. By putting these many diverse chapters together we further the impact of Steve’s work, ensuring that RPM will continue to evolve and help make this a better and more reasonable world.
And so, RPM continues to grow.