Mental Models

What is a mental model?

A mental model is a tool for thinking, reasoning, analysis, and decision making.

A mental model is a kind of internal symbol or representation of external reality, hypothesized to play a major role in cognition, reasoning and decision-making.

Lifted from Wikipedia contributors. (2022, March 25). Mental model. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 07:13, November 24, 2022, from


The mental models are broken down into five sections:

  1. Problem - The problem section defines the scenario or situation wherein the mental model might be applicable. It describes a situation wherein some issue is encountered, or an opportunity for improvement exists.

  2. Recommendation - The recommendation section highlights what actionable things you can do to try to apply the mental model. In practice, application of the mental model will vary. For better contextualization, refer to a specialist or an expert (e.g. a doctor, therapist, coach).

  3. Effective Use - The effective use section describes what it would be like when you apply the mental model effectively. It paints a picture of what it is like when you reap the benefits of the principle.

  4. Misuse - The misuse section is different from the problem in that the problem describes the scenario in more detail, while the misuse section focuses on the impact of the problem on yourself. This section digs deeper on the adverse effects and how it can compound with other issues.

  5. References - The references section enumerates external links, analogies, or domain-specific contexts (e.g. DotA 2, Valorant, games, TV series) wherein this mental model is at play.

Table of contents

The full list of mental models can be viewed sequentially by going to the next page, or you can view an overview visualization of all the mental models.

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