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Shifting Paradigms

Left-Hand Column Cases distinguish mental models from actual conversation. The Ladder of Inference show mental models formed if rungs are skipped. Both are tools “to uncover, test, and change your mental models and those of others” (Erickson, p. 8).

The Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia is my next stop after Regent; I thought. My confidence came from God’s past leadings. I deemed excellent public transportation essential for my husband. Preconceived notions came from trips up the Ladder of Inference.

The Left Hand Column Case applied when asked why I chose Philadelphia. My unspoken belief was Philadelphia was superior to Gettysburg. Some of the church’s best theologians and musicians taught at Philly. Gettysburg has two academic options: grades or pass/fail, making some doubt the academic standards. “Instinctively making sense of a situation is a valuable survival skill … this process of inference also describes the structure of prejudice and stereotyping” (Erickson, p. 8)

I will attend Gettysburg because I listened to Philadelphia’s then Director of Admissions who said to visit both schools. My husband said to choose what was right for me and he would adapt. I listened and God guided.

In Matthew 6 perceived piety and riches are compared to true ones. The left hand column needs aligning with the right. Ladder of Inference: data=needs, select data=God’s provision, the added meaning=God’s love, conclusion=seek God, have everything.


Erickson, R. Ladder of Inference. Unpublished paper, Regent University.

Holy Bible (2005). Today’s New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.


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