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Negative Feedback


In finance, negative feedback is a phenomenon where a change in a given direction causes a result which impedes further change in that direction. For example, when sales decrease, a company might cut costs, which then causes sales to decrease even more. It depicts a self-regulating mechanism that attempts to return to equilibrium by reducing discrepancies.


The phonetics of the keyword “Negative Feedback” is: /ˈnɛgətɪv ˈfiːdbæk/.

Key Takeaways

  1. Regulates System Stability: Negative feedback is a fundamental mechanism used in systems (such as in biology or engineering) for regulation and control. It helps to maintain balance and stability, making corrections necessary to bring the system back to its desired state.
  2. Reduced Errors and Better Performance: By comparing the output to a given reference or set-point, negative feedback helps to reduce deviations or errors. This enhances the overall performance and efficiency of the system.
  3. Predisposed to Oscillations: Negative feedback systems can sometimes unintendedly result in oscillations or disturbances if not properly managed or designed. However, with proper tuning and balancing, such oscillations can be minimized or eliminated.


Negative Feedback is a crucial concept in business and finance as it allows businesses to recognize and rectify their shortcomings to enhance their overall performance. It is a tool for control and continuous improvement, as it refers to a situation wherein the performance of a company or an investment is below par or not meeting its predetermined goals or benchmarks. The responses received in these instances offer critical insights into the areas which need improvement. For example, if a company’s product or service isn’t performing well in the market, customer reviews and sales feedback could help identify issues which otherwise might be overlooked. Therefore, by listening to negative feedback, a company can initiate corrective measures, ensuring business sustainability, productivity, and profitability.


Negative feedback in the realm of finance or business often refers to a mechanism within the system that is used to maintain market stability. The process operates much like the concept of negative feedback in biological or engineering systems, aiming at stability or equilibrium. For instance, if a particular stock’s price intensely rises, it may trigger selling, which would then drive the price back down. On the contrary, if the stock price considerably drops, it could initiate buying, subsequently pushing the price back up. This self-adjusting mechanism helps to counteract larger market fluctuations, preventing extreme highs or lows, and promoting a more balanced and stable environment for investors. Negative feedback is essentially used to maintain the overall health and functionality of a market. It encourages a more sustainable and predictable investment environment by automatically correcting extreme price swings. This means that investors can have more confidence in the reliability and stability of the market, which might, in turn, encourage further investments. However, the effectiveness of negative feedback mechanisms can be influenced by a range of factors, such as investor sentiment and global economic events. So, while they serve a vital purpose, they do not guarantee that markets will always remain stable.


Negative feedback in a business or financial context typically refers to a mechanism or a process that reacts to any unexpected changes or deviation from a certain norm in a way that counteracts or minimizes such changes. Here are three real-world examples of this concept: 1. Starbucks: The coffee giant Starbucks uses customer feedback to constantly improve their products and services. They receive a bad feedback regarding the taste of one of their new beverages. Instead of ignoring it, they use this negative feedback to review their recipe and make necessary changes to fit customer preferences. 2. Stock Market: In the stock market, a negative feedback mechanism may occur when declining prices lead to panic selling, which subsequently further decreases stock prices. This type of feedback can stabilize the market, as it makes stocks more affordable for potential buyers, which can then increase demand and eventually help restore the balance in the market. 3. IBM’s “Jam” Sessions: IBM, the technology company, has been known to use massive online discussions (or “Jam” sessions) to source ideas and feedback on a variety of issues, from company values to innovation trends. Occasionally, the company gets negative feedback during these sessions. This negative feedback loop allows IBM to make adjustments accordingly, leading to a stronger and more cohesive organization.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is negative feedback in finance?
Negative feedback in finance refers to a pattern where a change in some variable triggers a response that reduces the initial change. The term is often used in stock market contexts where the initial rise or fall of a stock’s price triggers actions that tend to decrease the initial change.
How does negative feedback impact the financial market?
Negative feedback helps stabilize the financial market. When stock prices drop, negative feedback might prompt investors to buy, thinking that the stocks are cheap, hence raising the stock prices again. Conversely, if stock prices soar, negative feedback might cause investors to sell, bringing down the stock prices.
Can negative feedback be bad for the market?
While negative feedback often stabilizes the market, it could lead to decreased investor confidence if applied consistently though. Investors might become cautious and refrain from endeavoring riskier investments, which could lead to inhibiting potential market growth.
Is negative feedback same as a bear market?
No, negative feedback is not the same as a bear market. Negative feedback refers to the response triggered by a change in the market that tends to decrease the initial change, while a bear market refers to a condition in which securities prices fall 20% or more from recent highs amid widespread investor pessimism.
Can negative feedback apply to individual investors as well as the overall market?
Yes, negative feedback can also apply to individual investors’ strategies. If the value of an investor’s portfolio drops significantly, they may react by selling securities to mitigate further losses, contributing to the process of negative feedback within the market.
What’s the opposite of negative feedback in a financial context?
The opposite is positive feedback. This occurs when the reaction to the change leads to an amplification of the initial change. For instance, in a bull market where stock prices are rising, positive feedback from investors may lead to more buying, further raising stock prices.

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