Positive vs Negative Feedback: Difference and Comparison

Feedback is the result of the process that has the potential to either trigger the method for more or inhibit the process from declining. Therefore, feedback from the output signal feeds back to the input signal.


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In other words, the feedback process is when the actions of some event or system are fed back to the source of that event.

Feedback is a biological occurrence where the system’s output amplifies or inhibits the system from maintaining homeostasis to keep the internal environment in organisms constant.

Key Takeaways

  1. Positive feedback is a process that amplifies or enhances the output of a system, leading to self-reinforcing behavior and a potential increase in instability.
  2. Negative feedback is a process that counteracts or dampens the output of a system, promoting stability and helping to maintain equilibrium or homeostasis.
  3. Both positive and negative feedback are mechanisms in biological, electronic, or other systems. Still, positive feedback enhances the system’s output, while negative feedback stabilizes the system by counteracting changes.

Positive Feedback vs Negative Feedback

The difference between positive feedback and negative feedback is that in positive feedback, the signal at the input source is the summation of the original fed signal and the feedback signal from the output that, in turn, increases the input signal. In contrast, in negative feedback, the signal at the source is the difference between the original signal and the feedback signal, which tends to weaken the input signal.

Positive feedback vs Negative feedback

A feedback loop can also occur on a larger scale in an ecosystem where a form of homeostasis is maintained. Without this feedback, the ability to self-regulate in organisms is lost.

Feedback systems are widely used to make amplifier circuits, process control systems and various other systems. To use feedback effectively, it should be controlled as uncontrolled.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonPositive FeedbackNegative Feedback
The relation between Input and Output signalThe input signal and output signal are in the same phase.Input and output signals are in opposite phases concerning each other.
Effect on the input signalIt makes the input signal stronger.Weakens the input signal
Final outputThe final output is greater than the gain of the signal.Smaller than the gain of the system.
StabilityDecreases the stability of the system.Increases the stability of the state.
UsesPrimarily used in oscillators.Used in electronic amplifiers.


What is Positive Feedback?

Positive or Regenerative feedback is when the fed signal and the output signal add up to give a stronger source signal. During positive feedback in the system, both the input and the output signals are in the same phase.

Positive feedback tends to increase the overall gains of the system. It works by taking the output from the system and feeding it back to the source.

A positive feedback loop occurs in biological processes when the product from the reaction becomes a catalyst for further response. In homeostasis, positive feedback takes the system away from equilibrium.

The positive feedback is mainly used to make the circuit of various oscillators such as the RC, Wein-bridge, etc. Other uses of positive feedback are power stabilization, voltage and current control, current mirrors, signal sharpers, etc.

Positive feedback is used wherever there is a need to regulate signal strength.

positive feedback

What is Negative Feedback?

Negative feedback occurs when the input and the output signals are in opposite phases or are at 180° concerning each other. Negative feedback is also named degenerative feedback.

The two signals in the negative feedback get subtracted, and their difference derives from the system. The negative feedback decreases the system’s overall gain because the output is removed from the source.

A negative feedback loop occurs when the product of the reaction leads to a slowdown of the response. This process brings the system closer to equilibrium.

Negative feedback stabilizes the system since it reduces the overall gains.

One of the most crucial roles of negative feedback is in electronic amplifiers. Negative feedback is used in operating bandwidths, reducing distortion and noises caused by the external factors in the system and making linear operations possible.

negative feedback

Main Differences Between Positive Feedback and Negative Feedback

  1. When the input and output signals are in the same phase, they add up to give the stronger source signal; the process is positive feedback, whereas, in negative feedback, the signals are out of step concerning each other.
  2. In positive feedback, the overall gains of the system are increased, while in negative feedback, the gains decrease.
  3.  In positive feedback, the output received increases the process rate, and in negative feedback, output tends to decrease the process rate.
  4. Positive feedback removes the system from stability, while negative feedback increases the system’s strength.
  5. Positive feedback is primarily used in oscillator circuits, while negative feedback is used in electronic amplifier circuits.

Difference Between X and Y 2023 04 08T125303.412

  1. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/321/5885/126.abstract
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