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Tote model of strategies

The TOTE model is a schematic view of the operation of a strategy and was first formulated in "Plans and the Structure of Behavior" which was published in 1960 by George Miller, Eugene Galanter en Karl H. Pribram.

A strategy can be broadly split into four components, namely Test, Operate, Test, Exit (TOTE) and are followed by the fifth component, which is Result. A strategy is used to achieve one or more targets. You test to determine whether you have achieved your goal. You stop when your goal is reached, otherwise you change your behaviour and repeat the process.

The TOTE model includes a simple feedback and reaction loop. The TOTE model is based on computer models.

TOTE model


TOTE Model process

  1. The first Test is a trigger in which the strategy begins. This determines the criteria and is used as norm for the second test.
  2. Operate grants access to details by remembering, creating or collecting the information on the internal and external world that is necessary for the Strategy.
  3. The second Test is a comparison of a certain aspect of the data to which access has been obtained by means of the criteria established during the first test. The two cases are compared, are should be displayed in the same representation system.
  4. The Exit (decision point or selection point) is a representation of the results of the test. When there is an agreement (a match), the strategy ends. When there is no agreement (mismatch), the strategy starts again (from the beginning).

The strategy can start again from scratch by:

  1. Changing the result of the strategy in a different direction.
  2. Adjusting the criteria Chunking laterally or reorientate.
  3. Refining or specifying the result.
  4. Gaining access to more information.

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