The traditional mental model seems to see contractionary monetary policy as adding friction or letting up on the gas pedal in a car, for example, Noah Smith: "When the economy is doing well, raise interest rates to slow things down ..."
This is very different to the information transfer model view; I'd previous likened contractionary monetary policy to piling snow on a mountain until an avalanche occurs.
I'd like to add another mechanical analogy: contractionary monetary policy is like stalling an aircraft to lose altitude. Aircraft can become difficult to control at their stall angle/speed and you can end up losing much more altitude that you intended. Another interesting extension of this analogy is that at "high speed" (i.e. high inflation) a stall is less likely than at "low speed" (low inflation). In a sense, the economies of the US, EU and Japan all seem to be flying near their stall speeds -- contractionary policy could induce a recession.