Ladder of Inference Worksheet

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What is the theory behind this worksheet?

The concept of the Ladder of Inference explains the unconscious cognitive journey we often undertake, from an observable fact to a decision or course of action.

Originally introduced by Chris Argyris in 1970, it illustrates how individuals progress from raw data (such as a remark directed at them or an observed event) through a sequence of mental steps to formulate a conclusion. 

This progression typically involves data selection, personal interpretation, internal explanation, and the drawing of conclusions. The process could be dangerous because it occurs rapidly within one’s mind, often without full awareness that only certain data points are being considered. 

How will the worksheet help?

The worksheet will help you understand the cognitive process of making a decision and consequential action.  It will help you be more aware of your thought processes.

How to use the worksheet?

Print or save the worksheet and use it for the exploration of your decision-making process.

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Indeed (2022). The Ladder of Inference: Understanding Its 7 Rungs. Retrieved from:, on January 26, 2024.


Skills You Need (2024). The Ladder of Inference. Retrieved from:, on January 26, 2024.