Feedback Loops

All around us, there are forces that create systems of stability...or chaos. These forces organize themselves as feedback, which is what you get by reacting when something changes. Feedback can be seen in human population dynamics; If there were no deaths, the world population would increase exponentially. Each new generation would be making more babies than the last. This is called positive feedback.

On the flip side, if there were no births, the world population would quickly stop growing, and eventually shrink to zero. Since this is a trend toward a specific number, this is an example of negative feedback.

Since these two feedback loops are connected, we can look at both of them together in a feedback system.

With both of these loops working in a system, we can observe the population steadily growing without increasing exponentially or decreasing to zero.

Try to think of a feedback loop system you have seen before, with a negative and a positive loop. Fill out the flowchart below with your system.