You might wonder whether models are useful or not? So, the main question here is

“Do models help or hinder our thinking and problem solving?”

Let’s take a look at some examples to see whether models help OR hinder or thinking!

 

London Underground map

I would say that this model helps our thinking.

  • Each Tube lines are colour coded in different colours so, it is very easy to identify each lines.
  • This map is simplified from curve or wavy lines of the real railway to straight lines so, the map looks organised.
  • The map contains lots of information and words but it is arranged nicely.
  • Important symbols about stations which are appropriate for people using wheel chairs or some stations that offer trains between cities are included on the map which is really useful.

Personally, I had use this tube map during my London trip in 2019 and I found that it is easy to use and it didn’t take long for me to figure out what is it all about. Also, it is quite memorable! I used District line and Piccadilly line very often and after a few days, I did remember some of the station names in those lines!

 

Bangkok Underground Map

I think this model hinder our thinking.

  • This map doesn’t include much information. For example, there are no stations names except for the destination of each lines which doesn’t make sense because people won’t be able to use this map to go somewhere they want.
  • Each lines are colour coded with different colours but unfortunately, that doesn’t help because it does look quite complicated. It is not something that you look at it and you have an idea what it means.

 

The Iceberg Model

I have used this model and it actually helps me to think in a logical way.

  • The model looks simple. The iceberg picture already represent the meaning or the purpose of the model.
  • There are only short sentences or phrases but it covers information needed.
  • It makes us think in more depth about a topic which is useful because we might come up with a better answer!
  • It makes us think in steps which guide us to expand our ideas and thoughts.

 

CONCLUSION!

In my opinion, models do help our thinking. Models represent information in a way that we can visualize them. Models simplified some complex information into a simple diagrams that we can remember much more easily. Use of graphics or colours also help. Models can help communicate our ideas or to understand processes needed to complete tasks.

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