I am lookin for a word covering the meaning "studying the bad effects of something".

Can pathology be a good choice?

in my case that something refers to Tourism Development in a natural ecosystem.

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    You need to be more specific what "something" is. I expect the answer might depend on that. Some example sentence would be helpful too. – user3169 Aug 12 '15 at 18:20
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    From the full OED, definition II 3 d: In extended use: the study or investigation of abnormality or malfunction in the moral, social, linguistic, or other sphere; a moral, social, etc., abnormality or malfunction. So yes, it's probably a good choice. – FumbleFingers Aug 12 '15 at 18:20
  • @user3169 Tourism Development in a natural ecosystem – Juya Aug 12 '15 at 18:28
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    I'm fond of the word 'deleterious' – TBridges42 Aug 12 '15 at 18:59

The general term is an 'impact assessment' or an 'impact study', and one can narrow it down even further, depending on what's being assessed.

In the case of Tourism Development in a natural ecosystem, a reasonable label would be Environmental Impact Assessment or Environmental Impact Study.

These studies are generally carried out to assess whether tourism in a region is sustainable, i.e. makes only a positive impact on the environment, society and economy.


Medically, the word you may be looking for is

Epidemiology - the study and analysis of the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations. It is the cornerstone of public health, and shapes policy decisions and evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventive healthcare.

In your environmental example

impact evaluation - assesses the changes that can be attributed to a particular intervention, such as a project, program or policy, both the intended ones, as well as ideally the unintended ones

may be more appropriate.

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