Do You Experience Any Feedback Loops?

There are some behaviors that are self-reinforcing. These are called “feedback loops”, and can be positive or negative. Have you experienced any?

As an example of a feedback loop, consider someone who has a fear of public speaking. If they need to give a presentation in front of a large group of people, that fear might manifest as sweating, stammering, or otherwise being a bad speaker.

Similarly, someone who is worried about not being able to sleep, may let that anxiety keep them awake, and so they end up getting a bad night’s sleep.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘How can we maintain wonder?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How do you think others see you?’


A positive cycle, for example, might include someone who is confident in talking to people they are romantically interested in. That confidence allows them to be relaxed and makes them ultimately more attractive.

Can you think of other examples, in particular any that you have noticed happening in your own behavior? Do you experience any feedback loops? Are there ways to disrupt negative cycles, or reinforce positive ones?

Related questions: How can we build confidence? Could everyone benefit from therapy? What are you doing to improve yourself? Do you have trouble sleeping?

 

1 thought on “Do You Experience Any Feedback Loops?”

  1. In my experience, expressing gratitude or goodwill to someone often begins or prolongs a positive feedback loop.

    Years ago, I ate a lot of highly-processed foods. They were addictive — by definition, creating a feedback loop (this one being negative) — as they’ve often been intentionally refined with the precise combination of sweeteners, salt, and/or fat to keep me craving more.

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