Big fat list of Mental Models Date written
Jul 5 2020
Cognitive & experimental psychology in
This is a collection of mental models I've read about. Makes for a good master reference for the times I'm always stuck in
Déjà vu, thinking "what's the term?". I will grow, evolve and categorize this list largely trying to understand / answer "what can I do to minimize negative externalities?", a meta-mental model for decision making in life.
This is a fat list and the purpose is not to memorize these. Instead, consciously aiming to learn them, utilize them as much as possible to fit things happening around into a model. This is reductive and simplifying, but that is precisely what models are for - to allow us focus on things that matter without the unnecessary details.
We don’t become better at things we do – we become better at things we
pay attention to while we’re doing them Uncategorized List Inverse Thinking - be wrong less Arguing from first principles Minimum Viable Product de-risking - weed out untrue assumptions premature optimization Occam's razor - as simple as it can be, but no simpler conjunction fallacy - latching on to unnecessary assumptions overfitting Frame of Reference Availability Bias filter bubble echo chambers The Third Story most respectful interpretation - benefit of the doubt Hanlon's razor - malice vs carelessness fundamental attribution error self-serving bias veil of ignorance Birth lottery just world hypothesis victim-blame learned helplessness Paradigm Shift Semmelweis reflex confirmation bias backfire effect disconfirmation bias cognitive dissonance thinking gray Devil's advocate position Intuition proximate cause root cause optimistic probability bias Tyranny of small decisions - " death by a thousand cuts" tragedy of the commons public goods herd immunity Externalities ( internalizing negative externalities) spillover effects Coase theorem - "property rights, rational actors, low transaction costs" cap-and-trade Asymmetric information Moral Hazard Principal-agent problem adverse selection Market failure government / political failure Goodhart's law perverse incentives cobra effect Sreisand effect hydra effect Observer effect chilling effect collateral damage blowback Boiling frog short-termism technical debt path dependence Preserving optionality Hick's law Information overload analysis paralysis perfect is the enemy of good reversible / irreversible decisions paradox of choice decision fatigue Murphy's law North star Compound interest Two-front wars Opportunity cost opportunity cost of capital best alternative to negotiated agreement Leverage Pareto principle power law distribution Learning curve effect Law of diminishing returns Law of diminishing utility negative returns burnout Present bias net present value hyperbolic discounting Default effect - path of least resistance Parkinson's Law Hofstadter's Law Loss aversion Design pattern anti-pattern brute force heuristic black boxes parallel processing divide and conquer Economies of scale Reframe the problem Natural selection Scientific method Inertia strategy tax Shirky principle Lindy effect Momentum catalyst forcing function activation energy flywheel Homeostasis Hysteresis Critical mass tipping point chain reaction Technology adoption lifecycle - innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, laggards Metcalfe's law Butterfly effect Black-and-white fallacy in-group favoritism out-group bias zero-sum win-win Grass-is-greener mentality Maslow's hammer Cost-benefit analysis Garbage in, garbage out Utilitarianism Black swan events Systems thinking Unknown unknowns Counterfactual thinking Lateral thinking Groupthink Divergent thinking Crowdsourcing Game theory arms Race prisoner's dilemma Nash equilibrium influence models reciprocity commitment liking social proof scarcity authority Social norms vs market norms Ultimatum game distributive / procedural justice fair share / share appeal to emotion FUD - fear, uncertainty, doubt straw man Trojan horse bait and switch Potemkin village Mutually assured destruction Domino effect slippery slope argument broken windows theory gateway drug theory Loss leader strategy Red line nuclear option zero-tolerance policy call your bluff war of attrition guerrilla warfare punching above your weight generals always fight the last war - default to strategies in the past Endgame exit strategy Hail Mary pass burn the boats Joy's law 10x team introverts / extroverts generalists / specialists commandos / infantry / police foxes / hedgehogs Peter principle Managing to the person strategy vs tactics institutional knowledge unicorn candidate directly responsible individual bystander effect power vacuum Deliberate practice Challenge directory - care personally radical candor ruinous empathy manipulative insincerity obnoxious aggression Consequence-conviction matrix Fixed vs growth mindset Pygmalion effect golem effect impostor syndrome Dunning-Kruger effect Maslow's hierarchy of needs Hindsight bias Winning hearts and minds Culture high-context / low-context tight / loose heirachical / egalitarian collectivist / individualist objective / subjective loyalists / mercenaries Manager's vs Maker's schedule Dunbar's number Boots on the ground Mythical man-month Market power arbitrage sustainable competitive advantage first-mover advantage / disadvantage product/market fit (open) Secret resonance Consensus-contrarian matrix Homebrew computer club Why now? Now what? Observe / orient / decide / act What type of customer are you hunting? personas bright spot beachhead Idea maze Heat-seeking missiles Moat lock-in switching costs barriers to entry / exit regulatory capture Winner-takes-most markets Crossing the chasm Cargo cult Circle of competence Overview effect