Psychology and Human Behavior

PURPOSE: The use of psychological and social processes in System Dynamics models can lead to a deeper understanding of a problem’s causes, and can enhance theory and practice in psychology and other social and behavioral disciplines.

ACTIVITIES and SERVICES: We support members through a variety of initiatives, including: networking, education (presentations, short courses), collaborative modeling projects, and manuscript consultation and review. In our SIG workshop. Modeling Psychological and Sociological Dynamics (see below), we discussed concerns, impacts, and benefits in using psychological and sociological variables (i.e., so-called soft variables or intangibles) in models. We also described a process for incorporating these variables in models, especially in defining psychological concepts, transforming them to measurable variables, and relating them to other variables. Please email ( us with any questions or requests for support.

LEADERSHIP: David Lounsbury ( and Pascal J. Gambardella (, co-chairs.

WHO WE ARE: Our members are diverse, with training and expertise in social and behavioral science, mathematics, physics, business management, public health, public relations and marketing, as well psychology.

RESOURCES: Here are links to our current resources:

  • Example Models. The supporting material to our July 2015 conference workshop includes most of following models, and links to the others: Burnout (two models), Physician Burnout, Dynamics of HIV Prevention and Care, Family Crisis, Hamlet and Virtual Hamlet (two models), Labor Experience Co-flow with Learning Curve, Maximum Range Examples (how to keep soft variables in a prescribed range), Milgram Experiment, Riots, Stanford Prison Experiment, and Schedule Pressure.

HOW TO JOIN: The Psychology and Human Behavior SIG is open to all. You can become a member of this SIG whether you are a member of the society, or not. In either case, go to If you are not already registered (you do NOT have to be a Society Member), you need to register first in order to log in. Once you log in to the SD web portal, select the Update Contact Information option. At the bottom of that page, you will see a list of chapters and SIGs. Check the box next to Psychology SIG, and save changes.