Publication Date



Social System Design Lab, Washington University in St. Louis


A central principle of the systems thinking perspective is that system structures are supported and held in place by our underlying beliefs, mindsets, and goals (See Brief 1.01 - Systems Thinking Iceberg). Therefore, in order to transform and redesign systems we must also transform our mindsets. The purpose of this brief is to introduce the concept of mental models, and to discuss how system dynamics tools can be used to elicit, negotiate, and transform them.

Series Number

Methods Brief Series 1.03: Systems Thinking Foundations

Document Type

Research Brief