SK

Big fat list of Mental Models

Date written Jul 5, 2020
Filed under Cognitive psychology in phil

Contents
  • Uncategorized List

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
    • framing
    • nudging
    • anchoring
  • 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
    • precautionary principle
  • 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
    • sunk-cost fallacy
  • 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
    • Chatelier's principle
  • Hysteresis
  • Critical mass
    • tipping point
    • chain reaction
  • Technology adoption lifecycle - innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, laggards
  • Metcalfe's law
    • network effects
  • Butterfly effect
    • luck surface area
    • entropy
  • Black-and-white fallacy
    • in-group favoritism
    • out-group bias
    • zero-sum
    • win-win
  • Grass-is-greener mentality
  • Maslow's hammer
  • Cost-benefit analysis
    • Sensitivity analysis
  • Garbage in, garbage out
  • Utilitarianism
  • Black swan events
  • Systems thinking
  • Unknown unknowns
  • Counterfactual thinking
  • Lateral thinking
  • Groupthink
    • Bandwagon effect
  • Divergent thinking
    • Convergent 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
    • ad hominem
  • Trojan horse
    • bait and switch
    • Potemkin village
  • Mutually assured destruction
    • deterrence
      • carrot-and-stick
    • containment
      • flypaper theory
  • Domino effect
    • slippery slope argument
    • broken windows theory
    • gateway drug theory
  • Loss leader strategy
    • appeasement
  • 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
    • spacing effect
  • 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?
    • simultaneous invention
  • Observe / orient / decide / act
    • pivot
  • 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