The general framework of interactions between technology and individual human beings, and between technology and society, is discussed. The principles underlying the process of technology assessment are presented, and the existing methodologies are described. An introduction of new technology or a modification of an extant technology leads to impacts in both technological and nontechnological areas. This paper examines several of the major techniques in use for societal impact assessment. The choice of a specific method depends upon the environment in which the assessment is conducted and upon the goals of the assessment effort. Such assessments form the inputs for generating optimal policies for complex societal multivariate systems.

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