BA 421 Week 3 Discussion Mental Models

Mental Models


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Mental Models

Assumptions greatly impacts the way individuals make decisions;people make assumptions as they go about their daily life. Assumptions are usually made without thinking about it or having knowledge of it. They are based on things learned previously. In the people’s belief system, assumptions play an important role the decision-making process, drawing conclusions and forming judgments about what is going on in the society. When information is incomplete, people use assumptions to complete their own stories. Assumptions are the taken-for-granted values and beliefs that builds an organization’s culture and impacts the performance of the organization.

People find it hard to change their assumptions and beliefs because assumptions help them fill in psychological gaps present in their personalities. Filling in these gaps is necessary for that individual’s survival. Moreover, when individuals start making assumptions they attach the assumptions to themselves. Therefore, changing the assumptions for such cases are interpreted by them that they were not wise enough to draw conclusions and make assumptions. As a result, they will oppose change and defend their assumptions blindly (Rieley, 2012).

Mental models are explanations of thought process of individuals regarding how something operates in the actual represents the assumptions about surrounding world and its relationship with people’s intuitive perceptions about their behavior and actions. Leaders have their own mental models about people around them and the world. It is their point of comparison. The world is rapidly evolving and leaders must reexamine their mental models lest they find themselves being non-adaptive. Mental models can also be simple generalizations.

Leaders interact with environments by comparing results of mental models with the surrounding environment and real world systems. When the results correspond, the mental models are complete and accurate. However, when the results do not correspond the mental models are incomplete and inaccurate. Use of mental models is the best way to make informed and intelligent decisions.


Rieley, J. B. (June 21, 2012). The Impact of Beliefs and Assumptions on Decision Making. Systems Thinking World Journal: Reflection in Action, 1(1).

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