Sunday, October 21, 2007

Turning knots into bows

There are different kinds of thinking; they can be broadly categorized into five types:
  1. Natural thinking: Fluid and undirected; it wanders and meanders. Subject to repetition and generalizations. The kind of thinking that goes on when we don't think we're thinking.
  2. Logical thinking: Selects a route and follows it to its conclusion. The solution is largely predetermined, so if you head off in the wrong direction you end up painting yourself into a corner.
  3. Pattern thinking: Confines thoughts to operate within given rules. Therefore solutions are limited the the possibilities within the pattern.
  4. Lateral thinking: Purposeful in intent without specific aim. This can reveal solutions which might have been overlooked in other approaches.
  5. Grasshopper thinking: Our usual thought; jumps around alternating and mixing between reasoning which adheres to measurable responses, and imagining which allows unpredictable currents to play around with data.
Which of these seem to produce the most answers/solutions? Do particular thinking types correspond to particular personality types or learning styles?

Does anyone actually think in words? Literally where everything you think is spelled out in words running through your head.

Education seems to allocate more value to logic and analytical thinking kills than to imaginative conjectures. Is this true? How does it influence our learning?

Language also plays a part. Have you ever noticed that when we don't agree with someone we say "I don't think so...."? The "think so" literally indicates a proscribed route. Does that mean when disagreeing with a person, we only disagree because we are predisposed to?

I'm sorry theres so many questions here, I was just thinking while driving to Cheyenne, but feel free to answer whatever you want, I would be most appreciative.

"Logic is the art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding." -Ambrose Bierce-


Rachel said...

Those are a lot of points that I myself have considered. Because of learning language at such an early age, I think in words, although they aren't spelled out. I feel that my vocabulary helps me to articulate my thoughts to others, but more importantly in my own head. I find that I am able to take my thoughts to a more complex level with the aid of language than when it they are in the form of a rush of emotion. Is that a limitation as a result of language as a way of knowing, or is it a benefit of a language as an enhanced means of articulation?

I think thinking types are inherently connected to learning styles, since the most effective style would logically be the one that best matches the thinking type - that way the knower stays on the same wavelength as the information being conveyed.

I would deffinately agree that education places the most value on logical and analytical skills. Those are the thought processes most valuable in comprehending the material they have to teach us (in general), since most of it comprises the common knowledge off of which higher education will be based. My hope is that the higher up the education system we progress, the greater the emphasis on imaginative thought. Once we've got a grip on the established fact (arguable knowledge issue there, though), we will have the tools to apply a wider variety of thought processes. Although I would argue that all the thinking types are interrelated.

In our education system, I think lateral thinking (directed, yet open to a variety of outcomes) paired with logical thinking (starts at point A, goes to B, and so on down the line) are best suited to success. These are the easiest with which to reach a conclusion and justify it in an organized and linear fashion, as we so often have to do for our various classes.

katrina337 said...

I don't think in words at all.
I think in emotion. There's actually a solid wall of division between the outside world and my thought process, because emotions tend not to cross that wall.

Education does seem to push us more towards logic, but I'd say analytical skills can be used in a very imaginative way. Our education is more sequential, I think because they're trying to make sure people actually understand it. It would provide a sort of issue because it can restrict the options we have with what we do with our knowledge, in relation to school...

Sierra Tamkun said...

I think that it is all very interesting. I had never thought about how we thought before, and It's very different to see that there are names for different ways in which we think. I actually think in images, with emotion thrown in, and very rarely do words actually play a part, If I'm remembering something said earlier, I imagine the person saying it, not the words themselves, and this is completely unconscious. I believe that education forces logical thinking, but that lateral thinking is many times more productive. If you are weighing the possibilities, then you are more likely to come to a unique decision, and unique decisions can be much more valuable than the standard ones. I believe that language is very important, since all of our in depth communication depends on language. We must think in this to be able to speak in it.