Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Feedback Loops

  • Alexandra, Sophia MalinowskiEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1795-1


Feedback refers to an event whereby outputs from one system are fed into a coupled system as inputs, increasing or decreasing subsequent effects and forming a continuous circuit. Often, feedback and self-correction leads to varying adjustments resulting in differences between actual output and desired output, ultimately increasing the change to a given system or reducing change reverting the system to normal functioning (Carver and Scheier 1982).


Though traditionally applied to cybernetics, feedback loops are a useful tool in the conceptualization and analysis of human behavior through self-regulation, as explained by Carver and Scheier using control theory (Carver and Scheier 1982).


Positive Feedback

There are two types of feedback: positive feedback and negative feedback. The positive classification refers to accelerating or increasing a process rather than the desirability of the outcome. In a positive feedback loop: A produces more of B which in turn...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TorontoTorontoCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Catherine Cottrell
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Social SciencesNew College of FloridaSarasotaUSA