Next you will find a lot of examples. In system language we call them archetypes.

Reinforcing loop

As the number of birds increases, more eggs will be laid. If more eggs are laid, more birds will come. 

Stabilizing loop

When I get hungry, I eat more. When I eat, I get less hungry and eat less. 

Accidental updates

If a student has a learning problem, remedial teaching could be given. The more remedial teaching, the fewer learning difficulties. But as the amount of remedial teaching increases, the responsibility for the learning problem with the teacher decreases. As a result, the learning problem will increase again in the long term. 

Sharing the load

If there are behavioral problems in a group, a short-term solution is to apply strict rules. That helps, because the behavioral problems are decreasing. But the stricter the rules, the less is the self-reflection of the teacher. With less self-reflection, the quality of the lessons will also decrease and as a result the behavioral problems will increase in the long term. 

Limits to growth

If the number of students increases, this has a positive effect on the reputation of the school. This will further increase the number of students. (left loop) But this does not continue indefinitely. As the number of students increases, the atmosphere at the school will decrease. This also has a negative effect on the number of students.


There is a conflict here. In the middle we see the number of students from school A compared to school B. Recruitment campaigns from school A will increase the number of students to school A. The number of students from A to B will increase. This makes school B feel threatened. They will also take recruitment campaigns, which will increase their number of students. This reduces the number of students from A to B, making A feel threatened. 

Tragedy of the open field

A school buys new laptops. There are 14 groups, but there are no agreements on who can use the laptops and when. Groups A and B get to work enthusiastically. They see more and more uses. These groups will increasingly use the laptops. The total use of the laptops is getting higher. But in the long run, this will reduce the possibilities for use for all students and teachers. the number of available laptops will have to increase again in order to increase the usage possibilities. 

Adjusting the goals

In the middle is the variable: gap between targets and actual sales. When sales are low, the difference is big. As the difference widens, the pressure increases to lower the targets. If that pressure increases, the targets may actually be lowered. Then the difference between targets and actual sales decreases.
At the same time, as the difference between targets and actual sales increases, it will prompt more actions. More actions lead to more sales in the long run. More sales will make the difference between targets and sales smaller again. If the targets have now been lowered (due to pressure) and the sales increase due to the actions, the difference becomes smaller and that leads to fewer actions.These are then less necessary, because the targets have already been adjusted downwards. 

Good luck to those who are successful

In the middle is the degree of love of nature compared to the love of cities. If you love nature, you will go for walks in nature more and more. As a result, you will love nature more and the difference with cities will be greater. At the same time, you will do fewer city trips if you like nature more. If you do fewer city trips, you will love cities less. The difference with loving nature becomes even greater. There is a self-fulfilling prophecy here. 

Growth and too little investment

Suppose the demand for cars increases, the factory will have to grow. With even more cars from the factory, more people will buy such a car. However, when demand is high, quality is less important at that point. Therefore, it is believed that investing is not so necessary. If you think that, there will also be less investment. This has long-term implications for the plant’s capacity, leading to a decline in quality. This will reduce the demand for cars.