Abstract for: If this, then that, then what? Beyond the archetypes: a generative process for building responsible causal models

The need to consider effective techniques for bridging qualitative and quantitative SD approaches was raised by experts in the field as a potential area of improvement to broaden the adoption of SD in higher education institutions. Of particular concern was the challenges and opportunities arising from introducing system archetypes to novice modellers in the context of different disciplines and application spaces. We do not take a position on the validity of either argument, and instead examine how we can reframe the relationships between the system archetypes as a diagnostic tool to become a generative tool for qualitative or quantitative models, and in turn encourage responsible modelling practices in a qualitative setting. Built on a simple scaffold: “If this, then that, then what?”, a many models are better than one model position is taken. An experiment was conducted with 30 novice modellers to explore the potential of such a tool. In practice, we have found that this process is a simple scaffold for non-expert modellers to develop an understanding of fundamental feedback structures and overcome issues arising from teaching system archetypes, enabling even novice modellers to explore hindsight about past behaviors and dynamic hypotheses about our future.