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Mental Models

  • Date Submitted: 10/24/2011 03:09 AM
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U09d1 Mental Models
Courtney Ryan
Capella University
Quality Improvement and Organizational Performance in Health Care
Ray Borges
September 07, 2011

U09d1 Mental Models
Before you participate in this discussion, be sure you have read chapters 12 and 13 in your Kelly text.
To practice identifying mental models reflected in selected management approaches and anticipating unintended consequences, complete the exercise on pages 215–218 in the Kelly text and respond to both questions 1 and 2. Use the Mental Models Worksheets to complete this assignment.

Mental Models
      A mental model is a model that is constructed and simulated within a conscious mind. To be “conscious” is to be aware of the world around you and yourself in relation to the world (Merritt, 2010, p. 1).   The term “mental model” is often used interchangeably with the terms “paradigm” and “assumption.”   Although these terms are technically slightly different, they all refer to a deeply ingrained way of thinking that influences how a person sees and understand the world as well as how that person acts (Kelly, 2010, p. 130).
      Mental models share several characteristics: (a) mental models are based on a person's (or group's) belief of the truth, not necessarily on the truth itself (i.e., mental models of a phenomenon can be inaccurate).   (b) mental models are simpler than the phenomenon they represent, as they are often heuristically based, (c) they are composed of knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes, and (d) they are formed from interactions with the environment and other people (Kraiger and Wenzel 1997; Johnson-Laird, Girotto, and Legrenzi 1998).   They are thought to form the basis of reasoning, and have been shown in many different fields of research to influence behavior.   Although conceptually similar, they distinguish themselves from attitudes in that attitudes, i.e., positive or negative evaluations of a situation, are considered an evaluative subcomponent of mental...


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