Mental Models

Mental Model is a simplified mental representation of a complex real world system.

Mental Model is how we understand the world. When we try to make sense of something, we simplify parts of it, prioritize some parts - so as to reduce its complexity. This simplified version that we use to understand/reason with is the Mental model.

You can use this to...

  • Understand systems
  • Make Decisions

These are the elements of the Map part of Map vs Territory

The phrase Mental model is generally used to lump 3 types of ideas...

  • Frameworks
  • Thinking Tools: eg. Cognitive Bias Avoidance, Reasoning from First Principles
  • Mental representations: Internal representations of knowledge about a problem domain

Problems with mental model

Mental Models are the communicatable/codifiable parts of internal tacit knowledge. Just learning it might not be enough. You might need to building it from experience. Source