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This is an excerpt from Wikipedia about Black Friday.

Similar stories resurface year upon year at this time, portraying hysteria and shortage of stock, creating a state of positive feedback. (Source)

I thought this part "creating a state of positive feedback" means retailers started to set up some measures to prevent these hysteria ... And my friend said that she understood this part as some retailers are posting false positive reviews.

What does it really mean?

  • feedback is a marketing/retail term here. – Lambie Oct 26 at 20:38
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Positive feedback is a concept of a looped cycle in which a small number of occurrences (in this scenario) contribute to more frequent occurrences which contributes to even more and so on. A little is emphasized more and more and continues in "the more" or positive direction forever. It creates instability and chaos and without external intervention it will continue. The opposite is a state of negative feedback in which the result of the occurrence causes a direct decline in such occurrences, thus returning to a normal state.

  • i think it is important to make note of the preceding words, "a state of". – Shawna Dec 4 '17 at 10:12
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Positive feedback is a technical term for what is described in everyday language as a "vicious circle". It is a situation where the result of a process contributes to a strengthening of the original causes of the process, which in turn causes the result to become even larger, again strengthening the process, etc.

"Positive" is used in a mathematical sense, implying that the effect of the process goes back and influences the cause in a positive (increasing) sense, making it bigger (instead of diminishing it.) This use of the word "positive" can be confusing, because in everyday language, there is nothing "positive" about "positive feedback" (in other words, it's not a "good" thing).

An example is when you are in a place with a microphone amplifying a voice through speakers. If the microphone gets too close to the speakers, it begins to amplify the output of the speakers, back through the speakers, in an increasingly louder and ever louder shriek. That horrible sound is commonly just called "feedback".

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