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...
- 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