Mental model

The Thinker by Rodin (1840–1917), in the garden of the Musée Rodin

Explanation of someone's thought process about how something works in the real world.

- Mental model

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Relevance

Conceptual model

Representation of a system.

Comparison model highlighting conceptual model role in system process
Abstraction for business process modelling

In cognitive psychology and philosophy of mind, a mental model is a representation of something in the mind, but a mental model may also refer to a nonphysical external model of the mind itself.

Schema (psychology)

In psychology and cognitive science, a schema (plural schemata or schemas) describes a pattern of thought or behavior that organizes categories of information and the relationships among them.

Wilhelm Wundt (seated) with colleagues in his psychological laboratory, the first of its kind.

It can also be described as a mental structure of preconceived ideas, a framework representing some aspect of the world, or a system of organizing and perceiving new information, such as a mental schema or conceptual model.

System dynamics

Approach to understanding the nonlinear behaviour of complex systems over time using stocks, flows, internal feedback loops, table functions and time delays.

Dynamic stock and flow diagram of model New product adoption (model from article by John Sterman 2001)
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A flow is the rate of accumulation of the stock
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Causal loop diagram of a model examining the growth or decline of a life insurance company.
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Analyze and compare assumptions and mental models about the way things work

Kenneth Craik

Scottish philosopher and psychologist.

13 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh
The grave of Kenneth Craik, Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh

In this book he first laid the foundation for the concept of mental models, that the mind forms models of reality and uses them to predict similar future events.

Counterfactual conditional

Counterfactual conditionals (also subjunctive or X-marked) are conditional sentences which discuss what would have been true under different circumstances, e.g. "If Peter believed in ghosts, he would be afraid to be here."

Morpheme-based morphology tree of the word "independently"

According to the mental model theory of reasoning, they construct mental models of the alternative possibilities.

Psychology of reasoning

Study of how people reason, often broadly defined as the process of drawing conclusions to inform how people solve problems and make decisions.

Francisco de Goya, The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (El sueño de la razón produce monstruos), c. 1797

A third view is that people rely on mental models, that is, mental representations that correspond to imagined possibilities.

Mental Models

Book published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., in 1983 ISBN: 0-89859-242-9.

According to the acknowledgment of the book, it resulted from a workshop on mental models held at the University of California, San Diego in October 1980, that was jointly sponsored by the Office of Naval Research and the Sloan Foundation.

Mental model theory of reasoning

Developed by Philip Johnson-Laird and Ruth M.J. Byrne .

Princeton University shield

Ongoing research on mental models and reasoning has led the theory to be extended to account for probabilistic inference (e.g., Johnson-Laird, 2006) and counterfactual thinking (Byrne, 2005).

Feed forward (control)

Element or pathway within a control system that passes a controlling signal from a source in its external environment to a load elsewhere in its external environment.

The centrifugal governor is an early proportional control mechanism.

Even in the case of biological feedforward systems, such as in the human brain, knowledge or a mental model of the plant (body) can be considered to be mathematical as the model is characterized by limits, rhythms, mechanics and patterns.

Theory of operation

Description of how a device or system should work.

Display of agricultural tools

It aids troubleshooting by providing the troubleshooter with a mental model of how the system is supposed to work.