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Publications about the M-Tool (all open access)

This paper introduces M-Tool and guides researchers on how to use the tool in their research. 

This paper showcases the first application of the tool with a sample of Tanzanian fishers, and demonstrates support for M-Tool’s usability and validity.

This publication contains an R-script that provides users with a starting point for their M-Tool data analysis. The script uses the edge list produced by M-Tool and transforms these into total number of nodes, total number of edges and various centrality measures.

MToolR is a companion package for the Mental Model Mapping Tool M-Tool ( The package provides: a) functionality to load and process data generated by M-Tool b) procedures for common (basic) analytical tasks c) visualization functions. More features are planned. We welcome feedback. 

Publications with applications of the M-Tool

The paper explored consumers’ mental models of how the protein transition unfolds to to identify barriers that go beyond the practical issues of changing one’s diet. 

In this paper, we mapped Tanzanian fishers’ mental models of the Nile perch fish stock fluctuation. We find complex and diverse mental models of the causes of changes in the fish stock. These mental models tended to focus on the causal influence of destructive fishing activities. Mental model complexity consistently differed across geographical regions in Tanzania.

How do citizens perceive the development of the COVID-19 pandemic? What are the perceived dynamics of the factors that influence transmissions of the virus and the number of cases? These are the questions that this team of researchers is investigated by mapping citizens’ mental models of the pandemic. 

The MultiTip Project

Ongoing projects using the M-Tool

Mental models of the energy transition
Karlijn van den Broek & Lynn de Jager (Utrecht University), Rouven Doran & Gisela Bohm (Bergen University)
This project maps citizens’ and expert mental models of the energy transition and the interaction between various energy transition pathways. 

Mental models of climate change in West and East Africa  
Maryse Chappin & Karlijn van den Broek (Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development, Utrecht University), Gisela Böhm & Usman Isyaku (Department of Psychosocial Science, Bergen University)
The MECCA project aims to identify adaptation and mitigation strategies by analyzing the gap between stakeholder’s mental models of change and risk and projected impacts of human activities under changing climatic conditions in East Africa (Lake Victoria) and West Africa (Lagos). M-Tool will be used in this project to capture stakeholders’ mental models of the drivers and consequences of climate change among fishing, farming, and urban communities as well as relevant policymakers.