The basic premise is simple. Provide people with information about their actions in real time (or something close to it), then give them an opportunity to change those actions, pushing them toward better behaviors. Action, information, reaction. It’s the operating principle behind a home thermostat, which fires the furnace to maintain a specific temperature, or the consumption display in a Toyota Prius, which tends to turn drivers into so-called hypermilers trying to wring every last mile from the gas tank. But the simplicity of feedback loops is deceptive.Via Farnam Street.
I hadn't heard about Bandura's work in the 1960s, although I find that he was cited in Csikszentmihalyi's Flow in passing. It was unclear from the citation how much of an influence he was on C.'s own theory. Although C. does not emphasize flow as a feedback loop, from a systemic perspective that is pretty much what one observes when people are in a state of flow. The topologies get complicated since many experiences of flow involve other people. Think of a jazz quartet and its audience -- live and for its recordings. Or of Congress and the stock market.
I like how this dovetails neatly in with Dweck's mindset theory also. The fixed mindset interrupts any feedback loop, and hence disrupts learning. But too little self-criticism and introspection and there is no feedback.
One of C.'s observations in Creativity is that creative individuals often lose a parent early in life. It seems to me that one would have to develop a capacity for self-criticism earlier on in that instance. Perhaps such individuals have a better capacity for self-generating feedback than do the rest of us, who are looking to others -- especially family -- for queues as to whether we are doing well at this ambiguous assignment that is our existence.