Mental Models Exercise LO10043
Wed, 18 Sep 1996 09:11:08 -0700 (PDT)

Replying to LO10016

Robert Lucadello writes:
>one of the most interesting "table top"
>demonstrations of mental models I have seen was in a video (sorry, can't
>remember the title).

>In it, the speaker had a deck of playing cards. He would flash a card
>very briefly and then ask the people at the table to write down what it
>was. People had a lot of trouble identifying the suits of the cards, even
>though they usually got the value correct.

>With each round of cards he slowed down a little, showing the card a
>little longer, until it became apparent that the cards were normal in
>every detail except that the colors were reversed: hearts and diamonds
>were black, while spades and clubs were red.

>What made this so interesting is that, for varying lengthes of time,
>everyone (including me watching the video) saw the cards as normal. The
>"mental model" of what colors the suits were over-rode the objective
>evidence of direct experience until the discrepancy became so obvious that
>it could no longer be ignored. The delay in recognizing the suits of the
>cards was caused by the mental model literally changing what people saw.

Robert, the video you refer to is "Discovering the Future: The Business of
Paradigms" by Joel A. Barker. I've used it in strategic planning and
workload redesign sessions with several different groups, and found it to
be very helpful in setting the stage for creative ideas about the way they
do business. Some of the viewers found Mr. Barker's delivery irritating,
but still supported his message about the necessity of being flexible in
our thinking, including openness to new paradigms, in order to progress.
It's about 5 minutes long. Unfortunately, I don't remember where I
ordered it from. Anyone out there know where to get it? Jill

Jill Johnson and Associates, Inc.
Specializing in The Conflict Dojo:
Conflict Management Training based on the
ancient teachings of the martial arts
12932 SE 272 ST, #242 Kent, WA 98031 USA
206-639-0776 fax


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