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Glossary » mental model

mental model

Humans establish mental models of how things work, or how they would behave in a particular situation. For example, having been a student at a university for a while, a student can establish a “mental model” of attending a university. That is, he goes to classes, talks to his classmates about how to accomplish certain assignments, he knows how to interact with his professors, etc. Suppose now a virtual university is being offered to students for online courses, and a website is to be constructed for the virtual university. This website should understand and respect the “mental models” of targeted students in order to avoid confusion for the students to find their way around the virtual university.