When solving problems the first thing I (try to) do is ask myself is do I have direct experience with this and what does the book say. If both experience and the book are in agreement then likely I’m on solid ground. But problems arise where the experience of others must be relied upon and/or the book is not available.
This is some tools that can be used to evaluate information outside one’s own area of expertise.
The idea for building a “latticework” of mental models comes from Charlie Munger, Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and one of the finest thinkers in the world.
As with physical tools, the lack of a mental tool at a crucial moment can lead to a bad result, and the use of a wrong mental tool is even worse.
If this seems self-evident, it’s actually a very unnatural way to think. Without the right training, most minds take the wrong approach. They prefer to solve problems by asking: Which ideas do I already love and know deeply, and how can I apply them to the situation at hand? Psychologists call this tendency the “Availability Heuristic” and its power is well documented.
You know the adage “To the man with only a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail.” Such narrow-minded thinking feels entirely natural to us, but it leads to far too many misjudgments. You probably do it every single day without knowing it.