What is a Mental Model? The Best Way to Make Intelligent Decisions.


Mental Model is a framework, or worldview that you carry around in your mind to help you interpret the world and understand the relationship between things. Mental models guide your perception and behavior. They are the thinking tools that you use to understand life, make decisions, and solve problems. Learning a new mental model gives you a new way to see the world.

For example, supply and demand is a mental model that helps you understand how the economy works. Game theory is a mental model that helps you understand how relationships and trust work.

The best mental models are the ideas with the most utility. They are broadly useful in daily life. Understanding these concepts will help you make wiser choices and take better actions.

The central principle of the mental-models approach is that you must have a large number of them, and they must be fundamentally lasting ideas.

The overarching goal is to build a powerful “tree” of the mind with strong and deep roots, a massive trunk, and lots of sturdy branches. We use this tree to hang the “leaves” of experience we acquire, directly and vicariously, throughout our lifetimes: the scenarios, decisions, problems, and solutions arising in any human life.

It’s your mind’s toolbox for making decisions. The more tools you have, the more equipped you are to make good decisions.