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Knowledge Representation by Arthur B. Markman

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Chapter 9

Mental Models

WHAT IS A MENTAL MODEL?

In chapter 7, I examined the problem of scripts and related representational structures for events. Such representations focused on temporal and causal relationships among objects during events. Most events that I discussed (and indeed most events that have been the basis of work on scripts) are socially or culturally defined events, such as going to the doctor or taking a trip on a train. These representational structures allow people to reason about ongoing events by using knowledge about related events that have already happened.

How do people reason about novel events? Imagine a situation in which a young boy stands at the top of a hill, makes a snowball, and rolls it down the snow-covered side ...

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