The idea of psychological “framework” in decision making.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been mulling over an idea that I’ve called the “mental framework”(I know, real creative of me!!) & I wanted to write an article about it to see what people think of this concept.

For this framework, my basic idea is that we humans apply a system to past knowledge & experience to solve problems and help with the understanding of new ideas. Before we go further in this article, I think it’ll make sense if we first define what the word framework actually means. As a simple definition, a framework is anything that is a structured underlying system, object or concept.

Based on this definition, I believe that people do use past knowledge in a structured method to go about dealing with their current situation. For example, if you regularly shop at a specific grocery store in your neighborhood and then visit a grocery store from the same company elsewhere, it’s likely that you will have a general understanding of the store layout and where the items are located even before you step inside this unknown location. In this example, I think that this person has a general “framework” of how these stores are setup through past knowledge from their neighborhood location which then allowed them to visualize and understand the layout when they visited the new location.

In the context of a work place, I think that we can apply this idea of framework in terms of respect between a manager and their employees. In the workplace, it seems like one of the most common issues people have is when a new manager joins the company and the existing employees have a difficult time respecting the new manager; even though that person is qualified from an educational perspective and will likely even have some experience from a related field. In this scenario, I think the respect problem arises as the new employees feel like the manager does not have a framework of understanding of their specific job tasks and consequently ends up making decisions that might not necessarily meet their requirements – which will ultimately lead to the employees being dissatisfied with the new manager.

What do you guys think of this idea of mental framework? Is this one of the valid ways that we humans approach our decision making or do these kinds of decisions get triggered by other mental thoughts & processes?


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