Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping with Mental Modeler

9:30 AM – 10:45 AM

Mental Modeler: A Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (FCM) Software Tool for Collecting and Standardizing Stakeholder Knowledge for Collaborative Decision-Making

Steven Allan Gray, Assistant Professor, Community Sustainability, Michigan State University

Fuzzy-logic cognitive mapping (FCM) is a form of concept mapping that can used to understand how different individuals and groups perceive environmental and social problems. In this demonstration I present the architecture and various uses of an FCM-based software program called Mental Modeler and discuss the benefits and limitations of the tool to facilitate scenario planning and promote learning among a wide range of stakeholders. Additionally, by providing workshop participants with sample data and web-based access to the software, we will create models, run scenarios, and identify additional software functionality.


Steven Gray is an assistant professor in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University. His research focuses on understanding how individuals and groups make decisions about complex social-ecological systems and addresses questions about how values, attitudes, beliefs, and local conditions influence human behavior toward the environment. This effort has recently led to a focus on understanding how collaborative modeling software tools help communities, resource managers, and other decision-makers to understand, and adapt to, the social impacts of climate and other environmental changes through iterative learning. He is the lead editor of the book, Environmental Modeling with Stakeholders: Methods, Theories and Applications (Springer 2016). His research has been funded domestically by the National Science Foundation, the Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), and federal resource management agencies including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Internationally his research has been supported by the Leibniz Institute, the Australian Academy of Sciences, and the Belmont Forum.