R. ROSEN states: "… in general the behavior of complex systems is "counter-intuitive":… large systems generally act in quite a different manner than is expected from "common sense" considerations" (1974, p.94).
The same point has been made by J. FORRESTER in relation to his Systems Dynamics.
The main reason is given as follows by ROSEN: "Basically, it is because such intuitions we have about systems are drawn from systems which are in some sense "simple" (Ibid).
Complexity, as a result of numerous intertwined interrelations, is quite difficult to grasp entirely and unsound simplifications are normal, even in trained persons. Deterministic chaos theory has recently revealed a new and surprising dimension of unsuspected behavior of complex systems.
Ignorance of counter-intuitive behavior leads easily to inappropriate policies. Some initiative taken in order to alleviate a critical process in a system, while seemingly logical in an intuitive way, may actually turn the situation still more critical in the future. R. ARNOTT and K. SMALL give the following example: "Expanding road capacity creates its own demand, a phenomenon known as the Pigou-Knight-Downs Paradox… Expanding capacity only attracts more users" (1994, p.448).
This merely fuels a positive feedback, at least until basic resources are totally used up or sky-rocketing costs block the positive feedback.
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To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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