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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Get Your Model Out There: Advancing Methods for Developing and Using Causal-Loop Diagrams
by Kenzie, Erin Suzanne, Ph.D., Portland State University, 2021, 179; 28318158
Abstract (Summary)

As simple visual diagrams of key dynamics in complex systems, causal-loop diagrams could meet known needs in settings such as theory-based program evaluation and qualitative research. Methods for developing and using causal-loop diagrams, however, are underdeveloped. This dissertation comprises three articles that advance these methods. The first paper describes a systematic review of evaluation studies utilizing causal-loop diagramming to illustrate program theory. The second paper pilots an improved method for systematically generating causal-loop diagrams from qualitative data. The third paper presents a protocol for an interview-based approach to mapping mental models. Together, this research contributes to recognizing the modeler as co-creator, reframes the relationship between intervention and context, and enables more diverse uses for causal-loop diagrams. Ultimately, this research serves to improve the rigor and transparency of methods for developing causal-loop diagrams, broadening their potential applications for modeling, research, and evaluation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wakeland, Wayne W.
Commitee: Sandberg, Billie, Davis, Melinda, Jetter, Antonie
School: Portland State University
Department: Systems Science
School Location: United States -- Oregon
Source: DAI-A 82/9(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Systems science, Public health, Social research
Keywords: Causal-loop diagram, Program theory, System dynamics
Publication Number: 28318158
ISBN: 9798597050430
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