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Tag Archives: Thinking



The Ladder of Inference is a model that was first developed by organisational psychologist Chris Argyris in 1992 and later used by Peter Senge in his book, The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook.

The ladder depicts the unconscious thought process that we all go through to get from facts to a decision for action. It attempts to explain how we tend to behave or "jump to conclusions" when faced with a "situation".

  1. We select 'facts' (although not necessarily consciously) from our data bank of experience, facts, beliefs and
  2. Once we have selected data, we begin to add meaning to it. We interpret, that is, make assumptions about what we see, hear, read, feel and we impose our own interpretations on the data.
  3. Then draw our conclusions from We lose sight of how we do this because we do not think about our thinking. The conclusions feel so obvious to us that we see no need to retrace the steps we took from the data we selected to the conclusions we reached.
  4. Our conclusions become part of our data bank - whether 'true' or distorted, they will influence future thinking.

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