Mental models are blueprints we can use in various contexts to make sense of the world, interpret information correctly, and understand our context. They give us predictable outcomes. A recipe is the most basic form of mental model; each ingredient has its role, time, and place. However, a recipe is not applicable to anything outside the realm of food. Thus, we find ourselves in a position of wanting to learn a wide range of mental models (or latticework) to prepare ourselves for whatever may come our way. We can’t learn ones for each individual scenario, but we can find widely applicable ones.
— Mental Models: 30 Thinking Tools that Separate the Average From the Exceptional. Improved Decision-Making, Logical Analysis, and Problem-Solving by Peter Hollins