Mental Models

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Mental Models

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ admin_label=”Case Study Text” _builder_version=”3.0.83″ custom_margin=”|||” custom_padding=”50px||0|”][et_pb_row custom_padding=”25.0562px|0px|0|0px” _builder_version=”3.0.83″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” animation_style=”fade”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″ parallax=”off” parallax_method=”on”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.106″ text_font=”Montserrat||||” text_font_size=”22px” text_text_color=”#353740″ text_line_height=”1.8em” background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” animation_style=”flip” animation_intensity_flip=”20%”]So what, exactly, is a “Mental Model”? I’m sure many of you are pondering that thought – lost in the abstract, considering how many different ways one could begin to attempt to explain them.

The short answer – is that mental models are deeply held beliefs, rules, principles or power laws – that are fundamentally true in this world and have stood the test of time.

Here’s two of the better conceptualizations of the concept:

Representation that describes how reality is (as it is known today) — a principle, an idea, basic concepts, something that works or not — that I have in my head that helps me know what to do or not. Something that has stood the test of time (Peter Bevelin)

A mental model is an explanation of how something works. It is a concept, framework, or worldview that you carry around in your mind to help you interpret the world and understand the relationship between things. Mental models are deeply held beliefs about how the world works (James Clear)

And from Shane Parrish, probably the best curator of Mental Models on out there today, is the best video on the web in terms of explaining them:
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And why do I care? What’s the value-add in understanding these models? Well, let’s just say that mental models are used by some of the world’s greatest thinkers: Elon Musk, Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet, Ray Dalio, Tim Ferriss; to solve some of their biggest problems. Most of us want to acquire knowledge, and feel smart or savvy – yet the traditional system for education and knowledge acquisition is flawed. We spend our lives memorizing text books and taking notes from professors – but little time truly understanding or applying concepts. Mental Models help us acquire truly worldly knowledge that can be applied across disciplines understand how the world works and solve problems by working from truths that have stood the test of time.

Charlie Munger, in his famous 1994 speech at USC Business School, described the importance of mentals models below. The TLDR version is that truly great thinkers and problem solvers don’t just memorize isolated facts because if the facts don’t hang together on a latticework of theory, then the knowledge isn’t very leverageable. Mental Models, these worldly rules or truths, serve as reference points that you can hang further knowledge – theoretical or experiential on – and build a “latticework of knowledge”.

Well, the first rule is that you can’t really know anything if you just remember isolated facts and try and bang ’em back. If the facts don’t hang together on a latticework of theory, you don’t have them in a usable form.

 

You’ve got to have models in your head. And you’ve got to array your experience both vicarious and direct on this latticework of models. You may have noticed students who just try to remember and pound back what is remembered. Well, they fail in school and in life. You’ve got to hang experience on a latticework of models in your head.

 

What are the models? Well, the first rule is that you’ve got to have multiple models because if you just have one or two that you’re using, the nature of human psychology is such that you’ll torture reality so that it fits your models, or at least you’ll think it does.

 

And the models have to come from multiple disciplines because all the wisdom of the world is not to be found in one little academic department. That’s why poetry professors, by and large, are so unwise in a worldly sense. They don’t have enough models in their heads. So you’ve got to have models across a fair array of disciplines.

 

You may say, “My God, this is already getting way too tough.” But, fortunately, it isn’t that tough because 80 or 90 important models will carry about 90% of the freight in making you a worldly wise person. And, of those, only a mere handful really carry very heavy freight.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.83″ text_font=”Montserrat||||” text_font_size=”22px” text_text_color=”#353740″ text_line_height=”1.8em” background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” animation_style=”flip” animation_intensity_flip=”20%”]Ok, pretty cool, I’m on board – but what’s the purpose of this project? What will Izsights be sharing that can help me wrap my mind around Mental Models? Well, excellent question. I started Izsights to document my research, analysis, projects and collaboarations with the hopes of creating intersection of ideas and common pursuits. One of mine is Learning, and mental models are going to be a big part of that effort for me. So as I scour scholarly articles my goal is to document the findings in a highly leverageable and easy to digest format – a library of mental models, blog posts and one page summaries of the most important ones I find.

Keep scrolling to check out some of the resources below…
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Resources

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[/et_pb_text][et_pb_cta title=”Mental Models Library” button_url=”https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1H2hi4tivC9gQY75q-a3oc2fxQJ2f7W3MY1Au1sIXVfc/edit?usp=sharing” url_new_window=”on” button_text=”View” use_background_color=”off” background_layout=”light” _builder_version=”3.0.106″ header_font=”Montserrat|700|||||||” header_text_color=”#353740″ header_line_height=”1.5em” body_font=”Montserrat||||||||” body_font_size=”18px” body_text_color=”#747d88″ body_line_height=”1.8em” background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” text_orientation=”left” custom_button=”on” button_text_color=”#747d88″ button_border_width=”4px” button_border_color=”#747d88″ button_border_radius=”100px” button_letter_spacing=”2px” button_font=”Montserrat|700||on|||||” button_icon=”%%36%%” button_icon_color=”#747d88″ button_bg_color_hover=”rgba(0,0,0,0)” animation_style=”slide” animation_direction=”top” animation_intensity_slide=”6%”]A simple Google Sheet tracking all of the Mental Models I research – with their category, general overview, the best sources or examples and a link to my one page overview.
[/et_pb_cta][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″ parallax=”off” parallax_method=”on”][et_pb_image src=”https://izsights.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/william-bout-264826-1.jpg” _builder_version=”3.0.106″ animation_style=”slide” animation_direction=”right” animation_intensity_slide=”10%” animation_starting_opacity=”100%”][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row custom_padding=”|||” custom_margin=”50px|||” padding_top_2=”5%” padding_bottom_2=”5%” admin_label=”Project 02″ _builder_version=”3.0.78″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″ parallax=”off” parallax_method=”on”][et_pb_image src=”https://izsights.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/mental-model-one-pager.png” _builder_version=”3.0.106″ animation_style=”slide” animation_direction=”left” animation_intensity_slide=”10%” animation_starting_opacity=”100%”][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″ padding_bottom=”5%” padding_top=”5%” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”on”][et_pb_text admin_label=”Number” _builder_version=”3.0.106″ text_font=”Montserrat|on|||” text_font_size=”80px” text_text_color=”#46db25″ text_line_height=”1em” background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” animation_style=”slide” animation_direction=”bottom” animation_intensity_slide=”20%”]02
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_cta title=”Mental Model %22One-Pagers%22 ” button_url=”https://www.izsights.com/notesonmentalmodels” button_text=”View” use_background_color=”off” background_layout=”light” _builder_version=”3.0.106″ header_font=”Montserrat|700|||||||” header_text_color=”#353740″ header_line_height=”1.5em” body_font=”Montserrat||||||||” body_font_size=”18px” body_text_color=”#747d88″ body_line_height=”1.8em” background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” text_orientation=”left” custom_button=”on” button_text_color=”#747d88″ button_border_width=”4px” button_border_color=”#747d88″ button_border_radius=”100px” button_letter_spacing=”2px” button_font=”Montserrat|700||on|||||” button_icon=”%%36%%” button_icon_color=”#747d88″ button_bg_color_hover=”rgba(0,0,0,0)” animation_style=”slide” animation_direction=”top” animation_intensity_slide=”6%” locked=”off”]Documenting the key points for each model helps me learn. I hope it does the same for you in a concise, easy-to-digest manner.
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[/et_pb_text][et_pb_cta title=”Blog Posts” button_url=”https://www.izsights.com/BLOG” url_new_window=”on” button_text=”View” use_background_color=”off” background_layout=”light” _builder_version=”3.0.106″ header_font=”Montserrat|700|||||||” header_text_color=”#353740″ header_line_height=”1.5em” body_font=”Montserrat||||||||” body_font_size=”18px” body_text_color=”#747d88″ body_line_height=”1.8em” background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” text_orientation=”left” custom_button=”on” button_text_color=”#747d88″ button_border_width=”4px” button_border_color=”#747d88″ button_border_radius=”100px” button_letter_spacing=”2px” button_font=”Montserrat|700||on|||||” button_icon=”%%36%%” button_icon_color=”#747d88″ button_bg_color_hover=”rgba(0,0,0,0)” animation_style=”slide” animation_direction=”top” animation_intensity_slide=”6%” locked=”off”]Checkout my blog for updates and the most recent blog on Mental Models will be right here. Over there. To the right…
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