MECHANISMS FOR UNDERSTANDING MENTAL MODEL CHANGE IN GROUP MODEL BUILDING

Rodney James Scott

Abstract


The group-level goals of group model building have been described as alignment of mental models, consensus and commitment to a decision. Several explanations have been proposed to explain these changes. This paper tracks participants in four group model building interventions where delayed evaluations suggested that lasting mental model change had occurred. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore how participants believed that the workshops changed their thinking. The results are compared with proposed mechanisms for mental model change: operator logic, systems thinking, modelling as persuasion, and boundary objects. Although individuals typically possess incomplete insight into their own learning, interview results support the boundary object model as most consistent with participants’ own recollections.


Keywords


group model building; evaluation; mental models; boundary objects

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