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System Dynamics Glossary

What is the meaning of Positive feedback?

Positive feedback is a form of circular causality, which acts as a growth-generating mechanism. The state of the system, such as one’s bank balance, grows continually larger as interest payments act as the rate of change. This is sometimes called a virtuous circle, as opposed to a vicious circle, which arises when the balance becomes negative and one gets deeper and deeper into debt as interest is added to the debt. Positive feedback is quite common in managed and may be valuable as an engine of growth. In an engineering system, however, positive feedback is undesirable and is designed out, which is one reason why the mathematical techniques of control engineering are of little help in designing managed systems. For a more detailed explanation of the feedback phenomenon, see Richardson (1991) and Coyle (1996). Also see negative feedback.

Books Related to Positive feedback

Janelle Barlow and Claus Moller, "A Complaint Is a Gift: Using Customer Feedback As a Strategic Tool".
     —More information on A Complaint Is a Gift: Using Customer Feedback As a Strategic Tool

Elettra Agliardi and E. Agliardi, "Positive Feedback Economies".
     —More information on Positive Feedback Economies

Other topics in our resources on System Dynamics related to Positive feedback include: 
  • negative feedback

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    Books related to Positive feedback