von David A. Kolb:
"Cybernetics or, more specifically, information feedback control theory, provides one framework for accomplishing this. This rapidly growing body of dynamic theory and principles of structure is greatly enhancing our ability to understand the dynamic functioning of complex systems of all kinds... The basic unit of analysis in information feedback control theory is the feedback loop. Since this theory is primarily concerned with the dynamic behavior of a system over time its primary focus is on the response of the system to changes in any of the variables that make it up. How does a change in actual conditions over time cause a change in decision, action and again in actual conditions? A change in actual conditions produces, at some later time, another change in actual conditions. This particular type of feedback loop is known as a negative feedback loop, since a change in a variable in one direction feeds through the system and creates a change in that same variable in the opposite direction. To illustrate, suppose the system is static. Since a discrepancy between environmental conditions and the goal would cause a decision, and therefore cause some change, a static system requires that apparent conditions are equal to the goal. The central focus of the first stage of the model is the application of the theory of cognitive dissonance (Festinger 1957) to two self-related types of cognitions - the cognitions that make up an individual's perception of him- self, his self-image , and the cognitions that make up the ideals and goals he holds for himself, his ideal self . Brehm and Cohen have provided the fol- lowing brief and lucid statement of the theory of cognitive dissonance: Cognitive dissonance, according to Festinger is a psychological tension having motivational characteristics. The theory of cognitive dissonance concerns itself with the conditions that arouse dissonance in an individual and with the ways in which dissonance can be reduced. "