Nobody that I’ve met has had a great answer to how to get a mapping from concepts and frameworks to problems to solve, where their intuition brings the most salient, information-full frameworks and concepts to mind as soon as they encounter a problem. This is definitely how my brain seems to work and so improving this would lead to great outcomes.

The plan is to run this framework against problems in life systematically, until the models become an integral part of habitual thought. System 1 can do the work of aggregating their results after I see enough data, and the framework will expose the strongest ways to think about problems immediately.

What follows is a master list of this framework.

Models Master List

Behavioral Economics / Psychology

  1. Prospect Theory

    1. Reference Dependence

    2. Loss / Risk / Uncertainty Aversion

  2. Growth vs Fixed Mindset

  3. System 1 / System 2

  4. Goal Factoring

  5. Ego (Positional Negotiation)

  6. Prevention Focus vs Promotion Focus

  7. Identify Aversive Factors

  8. Exposure Therapy

  9. Inferential Distance

  10. Steelman each idea

  11. Groupthink

  12. Confirmation Bias

  13. Selection Effects

  14. Narrative Fallacy

  15. Availability Bias

  16. Reciprocation

  17. Social Proof

  18. Liking (Similarity, Compliments, Growing Together)

  19. Commitment and Consistency (Cognitive Dissonance, Sour Grapes)

  20. Authority

  21. Alignment / Misalignment

  22. Halo Effect

  23. Placebo Effect

  24. Self-fulfilling prophecy


  1. Incentives

  2. Opportunity Cost (Necessity of trade-offs)

  3. Marginal Value

  4. Supply Demand (Scarcity, scarce resources)

  5. Diminishing Marginal Returns

  6. Option Value (Value in Exploration)

  7. Comparative Advantage / Specialization

  8. Equilibrium (Individual vs. System Wide incentives)

  9. Hyperbolic Discounting

  10. Deadweight Loss (Resource Misallocation)

  11. Elasticity (First derivative, response magnitude of supply/demand to changing price)

  12. Tragedy of the Commons (Free Rider Problem)

  13. Externalities

  14. Moral Hazard / Principal Agent Problem

  15. Expected Value

  16. Arbitrage


  1. Check Derivative and Second Derivative, not just Objective Function

  2. Linear vs. Nonlinear Models (Especially Exponentials)

  3. Principle Component Analysis

  4. Tree Structure (Graphical Structure)

  5. Binary / Discrete vs. Continuous


  1. Conditional Probability / Bayes Rule (Make sure to condition, don’t use aggregate probability)

  2. Power Law Distribution vs Normal Distribution

  3. Outliers

  4. Law of Large Numbers (Poker style optimal play)

  5. Mean Regression

  6. Bias / Variance


  1. Evolution

  2. Natural Selection

  3. Memes


  1. Critical Mass

  2. First Principles Foundational Thought (As opposed to metaphorical thought)


  1. Dose Dependence

  2. Catalyst

  3. Activation Energy


  1. Consider the Meta Level

  2. Abstraction

  3. Consequentialism vs. Deontology

  4. Problem of Induction / Empiricism

  5. Values Framework

  6. Simplicity (Occam’s Razor)


  1. Bottleneck

  2. Backup System

  3. Positive / Negative Feedback

  4. Curate


  1. What would I think if I was another type of person? Different Identity?

  2. Habits

  3. Environment as Main Determinant of Behavior (Social and Physical)

  4. Assume that some options are eliminated

  5. When we consider the best and worst states, what context do we think exists?

  6. Which dogs didn’t bark (what did I expect to see that did not exist?)

  7. Frog in boiling water (what slow changes are impacting the system?)

  8. Tight / Aggressive approach to decisions (Focus tradeoff)

  9. Pareto Principle (80/20 rule, Curate, Triage)

  10. No Brainer (Do the Obvious Thing)

  11. Maslow’s Hammer (The tools you have determine the solutions you see)

  12. Invert


  1. When has this problem or approach been tried or solved in the past?


  1. Identity

    1. With social roles

    2. With organizations

    3. With status levels

Computer Science

  1. Systematize (Write an Algorithm / Process)

  2. Exploration-Exploitation

  3. Divide and Conquer (Split problem into pieces)

  4. Premature Optimization

Books (As Frameworks)

  1. Antifragile

    1. Antifragility (Gains from volatility)

    2. Payoffs thinking instead of probabilities thinking

    3. Level of exposure to extreme events

    4. Options (Short or long volatility)

  2. Decisive

    1. Search for Objective Data to Inform Decisions

    2. Small Experiment / Ooch

    3. What are the options that we’re not considering?

    4. What beliefs do I have that I should question?

    5. What is the evidence that contradicts my beliefs?

    6. What are the underlying desires guiding my decision?

    7. Assume that some or all options are eliminated or required. What do we do?

    8. What is the opportunity cost of this decision? (Opportunity Cost)

    9. Can we reframe between prevention focus and promotion focus?

    10. Who else had this problem, and how can we learn from them? (History)

    11. What evidence, if witnessed, would change your mind?

    12. When this went well, what was happening?

    13. What was the close-up experience of people who made my decision in the past? (Inside View)

    14. How will I feel about this decision in 5 minutes, in 4 months, in 3 years?

    15. Premortem - imagine this decision going horribly wrong and going extremely well. What caused it?

    16. What is the courageous action? The imaginative action?

    17. What would other people of different types do in my position? (Different person heuristic)

  3. Getting to Yes

    1. Escape Ego Association (Positional Negotiation)

    2. Separate the people from the problem

    3. Escape to underlying interests, of which the positions are made

    4. Invent Options for Mutual Gain

    5. Use Objective Criteria

  4. CFAR Manual

    1. Visualization over possible futures (similar to best state worst state)

    2. Actually Try - OMG I need to do this all the time, it’s huge

    3. Murphyjitsu

    4. Identify motivating urges

    5. Identify aversive factors

    6. Combine objective information with Value of Information

    7. Inferential Distance (what knowledge is requisite)

    8. Explain the problem in detail (to a duck)

    9. Actually understand the problem

    10. Intensity

    11. Identify Bottleneck to problem solving

    12. Obvious next step that needs to happen

    13. Where did the problem go wrong? Did it happen earlier than expected?

    14. Steel-Man each idea

    15. Mindset check - are you looking for evidence for a particular option, or genuinely a scout

    16. Physiology check - what’s your psychological state?

    17. City of Lights - separate yourself into different parts with different opinions

    18. How can training occur naturally in behavior (deliberate performance)?

    19. Overlearning - seeing an idea everywhere, immersion

    20. Postmortem - when this has failed in the past, what happened?

    21. Exposure Therapy

    22. Fragment - break the problem into smaller pieces/chunks

    23. Identity - Sociology

  5. Poor Charlie’s Almanac

    1. Specialization/Comparative Advantage

    2. Law of Large Numbers / Poker-style optimal play, long term tends to theoretical values

    3. Invert! Invert the question or the situation, try reversing everything.

    4. Mean Regression

    5. Backup System - All critical systems have a backup, avoid downside exposure

    6. Simplicity. Make as few decisions as possible, have few dependencies.

    7. Equilibrium

    8. Critical Mass

    9. Think at the Margin

    10. Scarcity

    11. Social Proof

    12. Consistency

    13. Reciprocation

    14. Risk/Loss/Uncertainty Aversion

    15. Positive Feedback

    16. Catalyst

    17. Compound Interest

    18. Tight/Aggressive approach to decisions

    19. Pareto Principle (80/20 rule)

    20. Man with a hammer syndrome

    21. Tragedy of the Commons

    22. No-Brainer / Do the obvious thing