On looking into the Black Box: Prospects and Limits in the Search for Mental Models
Technical rept. 1 Jun 1982-31 May 1986
GEORGIA INST OF TECH ATLANTA CENTER FOR HUMAN-MACHINE SYSTEMS RESEARCH
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The notion that humans have mental models of the systems with which they interact is a ubiquitous construct in many domains of study. This paper review the ways in which different domains define mental models, characterize the purposes of such models, and attempt to identify the forms, structures, and parameters of models. The resulting distinctions among domains are described in terms of two dimensions 1 nature of model manipulation, and 2 level of behavioral discretiaon. A variety of salient issues emerge, including accessibility of mental models, forms and content of representation, nature of expertise, cue utilization, and, of most importance, instructional issues. Prospects for dealing with these issues are considered, as well as fundamental limits to identifying or capturing humans true mental models.
- Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems