I keep reading this as ‘casual mapping’ which sounds much more fun and intuitive i.e. something to do in your pyjamas or on the beach after a swim.
I like the look of it. Pairs of variables, things that can or not happen, that go ‘up or down’. There is a language to it though, a linking arrow is causal in one direction, implies ‘up or down’ and by adding a ‘+’ the interaction becomes two way. I would have interpreted this differently, that the ‘+’ meant up. Faced with a flip-chart and a team of people I believe the way you explain and lay out a technique such as this plays out as people interpret and understand it.
They can, with ‘good data’ become a mathematical model, though George Kelly suggests they tend towards a bi-polar form.
Decision Explorer is a software version
What strikes me is how in a group some will ‘get’ an approach such as this, while others will not. The likelihood of reaching an insightful conclusion must be the drive of such things. Then practice and repeat so that others can use the technique so that it becomes second nature, but not to the exclusion of new comers or outsiders.
Must there be a right or wrong way of doing these things? People can get locked into the process rather than thinking about the end result.
Eden, C., Jones. S. and Sims, D. (1983) Messing About in Problems, Oxford, Pergamon