So how do mental models work?
Here is a quick example of my model for getting rich:
- Pick the right numbers.
- Buy a lottery ticket.
- Win the lottery.
Easy, right? Unfortunately, this is in conflict another mental model of mine:
- My chance of getting hit by a bus are orders of magnitude greater than winning the lottery.
- I live in London, with lots of buses, some of which drive extremely close to the side of the road.
- If I play the lottery, chances are I’ve been hit by a bus.
- I’d better not play the lottery.
If you think this is a bit far-fetched, you should see my normal mental models. But that’s okay… mental models don’t need to make sense, they just need to work. The important thing is to ask the questions:
- Does this mental model work for me?
- Is there something that might work better?