The term mental model is rather overloaded as can be seen in the Wikipedia[3].

In the context of thinking models, subjectivity is an important aspect of a mental model. Therefore the definition used in the context of learning organisations [1] is suitable: Mental models are the images, assumptions, and stories which we carry in our minds of ourselves, other people, institutions, and every aspect of the world.

Like a pane of glass framing and subtly distorting our vision, mental models determine what we see”. Also “Differences between mental models explain why two people can observe the same event and describe it differently” [2].

Mental models include (mis)beliefs, expectations, values and attitudes.

Usually we are unaware of our mental models or those of others, until we deliberately look for them.

1. Senge, Peter M. (1990) The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. 1st ed. New York: Doubleday;
2. Senge, P.M., Ross, R., Smith, B., Robert, C. and Kleiner, A. (1994) The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook:Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization, Doubleday Currency, New York, NY.
3. Mental model, in Wikipedia, accessed 16/04/2021: Mental Model, (accessed April 16, 2021).