Abstract for: Creatures of habit: Do differences in feedback concepts matter for shaping recycling behavior?
System Dynamics (SD) theory purports to device policies that can improve outcomes of complex systems. Inherent in these studies is an assumption that decision making is shaped by the decision makerís information feedback environment. Feedback loops and information lags are central concepts. By contrast, Behaviorist Psychology (BP) is typically based on laboratory experiments of human behavior. Systematic testing of which feedback combinations enables shaping of behavior so as to enable desirable outcomes. This article investigates whether the differing feedback concepts also imply that policy advice from these two schools would differ. Household recycling provides a test case. The SD policy advice is to increase the fraction of households who care about the future and to additionally increase recycling skills. The BP policy advice is to feed frequent comparisons of waste and recycling behavior with that of relevant references back to each household. The policy advices from the two schools of thought complement rather than contradict each other. We argue that System Dynamics could increase its scope and relevance by taking advantage of common BP doctrine, If so SD models will typically require substantial increase in granularity to endogenously reflect core BP concepts