Glossary of Known Jigs

A listing and details about all known jigs.


For more general information on what jigs are and why they are important, see the Jigs entry. 

For an academic treatment of Jigs see: Cabrera, D., and Cabrera, L. (2020). Cognitive Jigs: Content-Free, Modular, Molecular, Structures for Understanding and Problem SolvingJournal of Applied Systems Thinking. (20) 10

If you think you have discovered a jig, please contact us at and we will: (1) confirm it, (2) award the Universal Jig Prize, (3) assign your name to the discovery of the jig, and (4) add it to the Table of Known Jigs and Glossary of Jigs.

Table of Known Jigs

Table of Known Jigs-2

Click to download viewable image of Table of Jigs

A List of Known Jigs

Click on links for associated maps and blog posts.


Proper Name Structural Map Explicit DSRP No. (Atomic No.) Content Agnosticism Ratio (CAR) Description/Map/WriteUp
Compare and Contrast ○↔○ 2/4 0.50 Compare & Contrast: A compare and contrast Jig is a very common jig that helps us to Distinguish how things are different and/or the same by using compare/contrast relationships. (see map)
Dio Opportunity Cost ○⇝(○(○(○…))(●(○…))) 2/4 0.50 Dio Opportunity Costs: Dio means Distinction and its two elements identity and other. In this alternative case, you are thinking more about the "o" that occurs when you decide the "i". This jig identifies the "opportunity cost" of making a distinction. (see map)
Feedback Loop ○↔○ 2/4 0.50 Feedback Loop Jig: A very popular variation on Cycle Systems where 2 or more identities are relating in such a way as to alter each other in feedback. (see map)
Linear Feedback Process ○→←○... 2/4 0.50 Linear Feedback Jig is a jig that illustrates a linear process of related elements in which each successive element exhibits feedback to some or all previous elements. See map.
Bracket (○↔○)→○… 2/4 0.54 Bracket Diagram. (see map)
Cause-Effect ○→○ 2/4 0.67 Cause/Effect Jig: An often used jig
Evolutionary Tree ○→○... 2/4 0.67 Evolutionary Tree Jig: a linear tree with branches showing the relationships between predecessors and successors (see map)
Fishbone ○→○... 2/4 0.67 Fishbone diagram: Also called an Ishikawa Diagram or a cause and effect diagram, is a jig for distinguishing the potential causes of a problem in order to identify its root causes.
Hierarchical Tree (○—(○…)…) 2/4 0.67 Hierarchical Tree: A hierarchical tree is quite similar to a bracket diagram but red top-bottom rather than left-right.
Inference ○→○ 2/4 0.67 Inference Jig: a conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning. (see map)
Metaphor ○—○ 2/4 0.67 Metaphor Jig: Note that a sight change in the fixed information can change the jig
Simile ○—○ 2/4 0.67 Simile Jig: Note how some of the information or structure of a jig can be either variable or fixed
Sequence-Flow Map ○→○... 2/4 0.67 Sequence/Flow Map Jig: A linear sequence of identities and relationships (like a number line). A variation on the sequence/flow jig involves variables that are plotted over time or in stepwise relation to each other but that can include multiple levels or scales and identities can have parts (S). Flow maps can be entirely linear, or contain feedback and the variables themselves can contain parts. (see map)
Dio List (○(○…))(●(○…)) 2/4 1.00 Dio List: Dio means Distinction and its two elements identity and other. You're making a list of the two elements. Very helpful in defining things at a basic level. (see map)
RD Barbell ○ ○ ○ 2/4 1.00 RD Barbell: A barbell where the Relationship (R), is also a Distinction (D). (See Barbell Jig and RDS Barbell)
Cycle …—○—○—… 2/4 1.00 Cycle Systems: a set of 2 or more identities that are related in a circle (e.g., a feedback loop; a cycle, etc.). (see map)
Continuum (○...○) 2/4 1.00 Continuum Jig: A continuum jig is used to plot a few options (usually 2, 3, 4) "along a continuum." It should be noted that there is always at least an implicit organizing perspective that creates the continuum (from X to Y, Less A, More B, etc). (see map)
List (○(○…)) 2/4 1.00 A List Jig: A list is a very well-known and popular jig that allows for a part-whole itemization
P-circle [○] [○]…*□ 2/4 1.00 P-circle: The "Perspective Circle" Jig: A simple common structure that looks at a view from multiple points. Create a circle of perspectives around any item, situation, event, or system.
nth-order P  ...[○] [○] □ 2/4 1.00 Nth Order Perspective: A common structure that helps us see our bias in looking at a perspective. Sometimes it is important to look at a perspective on a system from a second-order perspective or an nth-order perspective. (see map)
R-circle ○—*○○… 2/4 1.00 R Circle: An R circle is just a bunch of variables relating in some way to a center variable. The Rs could be causal or not. Often used to map webs of causality in relation to some effect. (see map)
Table (○(○…))—*∀(○(○…)) 2/4 1.00 Table Jig: A part-whole jig consisting of a square grid of parts
Barbell ○—○ 2/4 1.00 Barbell Jig: A simple common structure that helps us zoom into the relationship between two things. Named after a "barbell" because of its structure.
R'nR —*∀(— — …) 2/4 1.00 R'nR Jig or Relate the Relations Jig makes relationships between a set of relationships. See map.
P on Rs [○](— — …) 2/4 1.00 P on Rs Jig takes a perspective on a set of Relations. See Map.
Analogy (○—○)—(○—○) 3/4 0.89 Analogy Jig: Note how some of the information or structure of a jig can be either variable or fixed
Commonality by P (○(○…))(○(○…)) ⇝
[○] (○(○…))(○(○…)) ⇝ (○((○)(○)))
3/4 0.89 Commonality P Jig: a.k.a. Fruit jig because when a situation gives you apples and oranges (i.e., incompatibilities) sometimes you have to look for the common whole which is born of the common part(s). (see map)
RDS Barbell ○ (○) ○ 3/4 1.00 RDS Barbell: A barbell where the Relationship (R) is also a Distinction (D) and a System (S)
Category [○]*(○(○…)) 3/4 1.00 Category Jig
Jig Mix and Match (□↔□) 3/4 1.00 Mix and Match Jig
P to S [○] □⇝[(○(○…))] □ 3/4 1.00 P to S Jig (Perspectival System): A jig to help avoid the bias of homogeneous perspectives of groups (or an individual). Rather than turning an S into a P like in S-to-P jig, you're turning a P into an S. (see map)
R-channel (○(○…))  (↔(↔…))  (○(○…)) 3/4 1.00 An R-channel: A simple structure that can be used to compare the relationships between two systems made up of parts. Any time you want to relate two systems, an R-channel is the jig for you. It's called an R-channel because the structure of the jig "opens up a channel of space" in the middle to create many relationships across the systems
S of Rs (— — …) 3/4 1.00 System of Relationships Jig (S of Rs): An important jig where a set of relationships (Rs) are seen as working as a system (S).
S to P (○(○…) ⇝[(○(○…)] □ 3/4 1.00 S to P Jig (System to Perspective): A common structure jig where a system of related parts (a part party) is transformed into a perspective that can be used to look at a problem, situation or phenomenon differently. Could also be called, S to P on an S Jig because this jig is a great way to solve a problem and use an understanding of the system you are analyzing to abstract an overarching lens to be used in future evolutions of the current problem system or future systems
XY Graph (○...○)↔(○...○) 3/4 1.00 Cartesian XY Graph: A well-known and often used jig that combines two Continuum Jigs with a system of parts plotted on each axis. (btw it takes two continuum jogs to make an XY Jig)
Part Party (○(—*∀○○…)) 3/4 1.00 Standard Part Party: A Jig that helps us to relate the parts of a whole. Like a good party, the parts need to interact. A pervasive jig of all complex systems. Any good party involves interactions between the guests. Cognitive systems are no different--the parts must "part-ay"
RD Part Party (○( ○ *∀○○…)) 3/4 1.00 RD Part Party: A Jig that helps us to distinguish and relate the parts of a whole. (See Standard Part Party Jig)
RDS Part Party (○( (○(○…) *∀○○…)) 3/4 1.00 RDS Part Party: A Jig that helps us to distinguish and relate the parts of a whole. (See Standard Part Party Jig)
Rar Cycle (○)—(→↔←)—(○) 3/4 1.00 Rar Jig: Rar Jig is a composite of things you can do with the most basic elements (action-reaction) of Relationships (R). It is a very powerful set of jigs that can be used to zoom into what is really going on when two or more things relate. Rar zooms into the dynamics of any Rs but especially psychotherapeutic or CBT (stimulus-response, etc)
D to RD ○ ⇝ (○(○…)) ○ (○(○…)) 3/4 1.00 D to RD Jig: Take an identity and transform it into a Relation and then ask all the things it relates as a barbell between two Ss. See Map.
RDSP Barbell ○ [(○)] ○ 4/4 1.00 Add P to the R on and RDS Barbell
RDSP Part Party (○( [ (○(○…) ] *∀○○…)) 4/4 1.00 Add P to the R on and RDS Barbells between parts in the S
DSRP Ecology (○ ( ) – [ ])*□ 4/4 1.00 Basic DSRP Ecology Jig: A jig, like ecology jig that explicates DSRP structure relatively consistently across all elements. (see map)
Max DSRP Ecology (○ ( ) – [ ])*∀□ 4/4 1.00 P Ecology Jig: A jig where every element in the network is also a perspective ON the network. The basic ecological relationships.