The mapping of contingencies in mental models found in organizations

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From a cognitive perspective, mental models held by individuals are thought to guide interactions with objects or systems, including interpersonal interactions. Frameworks that categorize types of interactions in organizations suggest that they are guided by cultures and mental models that range from the egoistic to the cosmos-centric. From a behavioral perspective, what the cognitive approach calls mental models are sets of verbal rules. Therefore, we suggest that behavior analysis could be used to reconceptualize the mental model literature, generating new research questions and more rigorous experimentation. Cognitive constructs such as more expansive mental models may simply be a function of an individual’s or group’s increased attention to interlocking contingencies. Applying behavioral interventions such as acceptance and commitment therapy could be a way to examine the utility of a behavior analytic approach.

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© 2016 Taylor and Francis. Publisher’s version of record: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01608061.2016.1153015

Publication Title

Journal of Organizational Behavior Management