Welcome to this project dedicated to understanding how mechanics, and related physics, can be applied to human behaviour. Using the system dynamics methodology of stocks, flows and feedback, concepts such as force, momentum and energy can give insight into the way people, and other social phenomena, behave over time.
In mechanics, force produces acceleration in an object. The same concept can be used in system dynamics to describe how any time-varying signal can cause acceleration in a stock – a dynamic variable. That signal may be exogenous or come from another stock. In the Newtonian Interpretive Framework, the effect of the force is measured… Read more
Early on in a system dynamics (SD) course, it is usual for a learner to be introduced to two types of first-order balancing loops: one where the stock grows, and one where the stock declines. Death Process Take the decline situation first. If there are no births or migration, a population will decline over time… Read more
I have often seen the following causal loop used in system dynamics presentations to explain a reinforcing loop: Figure 1: Causal Loop Diagram of Simple Birth Process The argument then runs: the more population, the more births, hence more in the population; thus the population grows. Fortunately, I never hear people reverse the argument: the… Read more