Skip to content

Types of thinking

Knowing the different types of thinking that exist helps us understand ourselves better , noting that what we think influences how we live each of the situations we go through, how we get excited and feel.

How many times do we find ourselves engrossed in our own thoughts, developing ideas, imagining situations, questioning our behavior or even criticizing the behavior of others. Thought has great power since through it we make decisions and generate behaviors.

Reasoning or thinking is much more complex than we had imagined, experts understand that there are different types of thinking depending on how they develop . Although it is a basic cognitive process by which we apply our knowledge, it is influenced by our values, temperament, education and lived experiences.

In our way of thinking there are multiple variables that differ from other people. These variables also respond to the type of thinking that we usually use for each situation. By understanding that the way we think is learned and follows a series of guidelines , we are empowered to free ourselves from what causes us unnecessary discomfort and suffering.

What does the thought suppose?

Thought is typical of our neocortex , being the most developed brain area, which is responsible for our reasoning and abstract thinking. This is something that distinguishes us from other mammals.

The ability to think and reason is what makes us such complex beings . Through thought we can generate behaviors that benefit us and give meaning to our lives; and we can also, in the same way, generate problems, conflicts, and even make us feel that life no longer has any meaning for us.

Thoughts, obviously, are not an individual and isolated process in our brain, they are in turn regulated by our limbic system , our part of the brain that regulates our most primitive instincts such as: hunger, emotions, sexual behavior and memory. This means that our reasoning is often linked to this type of more primitive impulse, and without a doubt on many occasions our thoughts are influenced by feelings and emotions in an involuntary way.

By taking this into account, we will better understand that the types of thinking we use are, on many occasions, overlapping and influenced by multiple factors that we cannot control . Although understanding this, we will be more aware that our thoughts are not an absolute truth, that many times it is better or give them credibility, since they are generated in one way or another depending on the context and the state in which we find ourselves. That is why one piece of advice we give you is not to believe everything you think., Thoughts often make us see things that are not and confuse us even more with respect to what reality supposes. Our individuality as people is made up of various types of thinking, which in a guiding way, knowing them gives us the keys so that we do not let ourselves be controlled by them,

Main types of thinking

Inductive thinking

In this way of reasoning, the conclusions reached are based on premises that support the idea. The process, therefore, is to go from the particular to the general , and although the validity of the conclusion is not guaranteed, it does reach a high degree of probability. In type of thinking it acquires great force since it is unlikely that the conclusions reached are false if its premises are true. Thus a more or less sensible conclusion is reached, until it is refuted. This type of thinking is an indispensable part of the scientific method.

Deductive thinking

In this case, the process is reversed, starting from the general to the particular. This ensures the validity of the premise content, as it is based on your own premises. This type of argument will always be valid as long as the premises are true . For example: All humans are mammals – Albert Einstein is human – Therefore, Albert Einstein is a mammal.

Propositional thinking

When using this type of thinking, what interests us is not the content of the prepositions, but the relationships that exist between them through the union particles. It is a thought whose nature is abstract, which frees us from having to try to control circumstances in the real world. Thus we do not need to check the reality data in an experimental way.

You may also be interested in:   Adult crisis

For example: we make a statement such as “It is almost impossible for you to climb that rope so many meters”, in a logical analysis a particle is used, in this case: “It is almost impossible for you to climb that rope so many meters, at least that you prepare for it ”. So the particle “unless” This binding particle serves as a connection between two propositions.

Convergent thinking

In this way of reasoning, you choose between many options to finally reach a conclusion. It is thus taken into account that there are different realities that can fit together, although at first it seems that they have nothing in common. Thus, the most convenient option in a range of possibilities is estimated.

Divergent thinking

Multiple conclusions are obtained from an open question, generating as many ideas as possible. With this type of thinking, the different aspects or meanings of the same word or phrase are better detected.

Hard thinking

This denomination of thought was proposed by Roger van Oech. This type of thinking stands out for being very concrete, without allowing ambiguities to exist. It is rigorously logical, coherent and specific; tends to be exact and as precise as possible.
It is usually the thought that is most applied to science , we try by all means to avoid contradictions.

Soft thinking

In contrast to hard thinking, the soft admits many nuances , it does not have that rigidity. It is characterized, above all, by being somewhat confusing, being rather metaphorical and open to different interpretations. It is very common in philosophy promoting, first of all, contradictions, like psychoanalysis.

Analytical thinking

It is intended to establish causalities, analyzing a situation step by step and dividing it into small parts so as not to lose detail of everything that makes it up. Any problem is organized by parts being analyzed in a systematic way , making comparisons, setting priorities on a rational basis. Causal and conditional relationships of the type are usually made: then …,  if …, etc.

Lateral thinking

It is a creative way of handling information. The objective is the change of models. Problems are dealt with by unique and original solutions. What has been taken for granted, what is supposed to be immovable and evident, is questioned. It works in opposition to analytical thinking. This thinking occurs mainly in artists and artisans .

Magical thinking

Ideas are produced that have nothing to do with reality , since elements that do not have their own conscience or ability to follow a plan are assigned specific intentions. This is typical of children when they tend to imagine.

It is also typical of people who suffer from some kind of delirium, stating it in the following way: “when a car on the street uses the whistle twice, it is telling me that my parents do not love me”, “if he swallows saliva when I speak to him it means that she is lying to me and is interested in someone else ”. Relationships are established by making conclusions that lack logic .

Janic thought

This denomination of thought was proposed by the American psychiatrist Albert Rottenberg . Janic thought (of the Roman God Janus), has as its main characteristic the idea of two opposing images or concepts , which exist next to each other and both are equally true. This ambivalence occurs especially in dreams, making use of the unconscious elements.

In conclusion, as we can see, these types of thinking are often associated with specific cultural contexts; such as the scientific, artistic or philosophical. Also in their way of proceeding they tend to be characteristic of certain people, who due to their character and way of understanding life tend more towards some types of thought than others.

That is why it is not surprising that there are people who find it impossible to understand each other, since, even speaking the same language, it is as if they understand completely different languages. This is due to the different characteristic ways of thinking from one person to another, which can differ to the point that communication becomes conflictual, and no type of understanding can be reached.

Website | + posts

Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *