TitleDynamic Mental Models in Weather Forecasting
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsTrafton, JG
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting
Date Published09/2004

There are many definitions, descriptions, and usages of the term “mental model.” Frequently, the definition of mental model is not described, leaving what the author means as an exercise for the reader. I propose a very explicit definition for a dynamic mental model and then show how that definition can be applied in the domain of meteorological forecasting. Specifically, I suggest that a dynamic mental model is a mix of images and propositions, relies on qualitative and spatial relationships, allows dynamic, runnable results to be inspected, and results in an inference. Finally, I offer suggestions on how to improve the usefulness of the term mental model.

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