Abstract for: Designs for Living: A Simulation Analysis of Factors Affecting Achievement and Satisfaction over the Life Cycle

An exploratory system dynamics model is presented that addresses the question of whether one can make conscious choices that improve both achievement and satisfaction in life and lessen the possible conflict between these two values. Monte-Carlo testing was done to identify the variety of life-cycle trajectories produced by the model, as well as the relative importance of the modelís various input parameters. From this information, four hypothetical individuals were defined who differ in terms of their speed of learning from experience and the demands of their environment. These individuals were tested to see what difference five alternative life strategies might make, strategies that differ in terms of the individualís rate of positive change seeking and the ambitiousness of the individualís expectations. A number of tentative findings emerged, which may serve as hypotheses for further research.