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Thinking - The processing of information in the search for a solution to a problem.

Types of thinking

The simplest form of thinking peculiar highly organized animals on the intellectual stage of mental development. Such animals, such as apes and dolphins, not just perceive the world in its entirety, but in a certain way and are able to process information in different ways: to analyze and synthesize, compare and generalize. But thinking of animals is carried out mostly in the visual-motor, partly - in the visual-shaped plan.

Visual-active thinking is characterized by the fact that the task is carried out using the physical transformation of the situation, ie activities. For example, chimpanzees, to control the high hanging apple, put a few boxes on one another, or a small child, building a pyramid, in turn, tries to wear rings of different diameters, solving this problem by means of actions, ie clearly in motor plan. Although perhaps chimpanzees before make boxes in fact, makes the same action in your mind - in this case it is evident-creative thinking, in which the solution is carried out by presenting or imagination situations and changes in them. And the animal and the child go to this way of thinking only gain experience after repeated problem solving in visual-motor plan.

But the highest and apparently purely human form of thinking is the so-called verbal-logical thinking ability which is actualized in children as language acquisition and to handling associated with the logical forms of thinking - concepts, judgments and conclusions.

Concepts - symbolic generalized representation of objects or phenomena by highlighting the main features common to all objects of this class, regardless of the particular situation. For example, the term "person" is a set of traits and, necessarily inherent in every person, man and woman, child, adult, and old man, etc.

Judgment - a reflection of relations between different objects or phenomena. For example, the proposition "All men are mortal" reflects a significant link between people and the phenomenon of death.
Inference - getting output through analysis and synthesis based on the original two or more judgments. For example, on the basis of the following two propositions, "All men are mortal" and "Socrates - a man" we can get a new proposition "Socrates is mortal too" (Aristotle "Logic").

Mental operations

Explaining the nature of thought above, we have repeatedly used the concept of "analysis", "synthesis", "comparison", "generalization".

  • Analysis - a method of decomposition of the whole into parts. Solving a math problem or a difficult life problem, we first analyze them, ie find out simple tasks or components of the problem. Small child, aimlessly, as it seems, breaking just donated a toy, actually "analyzes" its the only way available to him so far, ie literally expanding it to pieces. And go to the conceptual, verbal analysis of the child can only repeatedly performing the activity here is a literal analysis.
  • Synthesis - the union of simple elements in the new complex into a new whole. Constituting a pyramid of rings of different diameters or by compiling a new model using the constructor, the child performs a synthetic synthetic activities necessary for the transition to the conceptual synthesis.
  • Comparison - selection and similar features in the different analysis items or events. To make a comparison, you must first expand the compared objects into simple components, ie analyze them, and then need to highlight the similarities and differences between them.
  • Synthesis - the combination of several objects in a group by the presence of their random number of general or essential characteristics. In the first case, in the same group can get grass, scarf, car, cucumber as having one common random sign - green. In the second case - when generalizing to an essential characteristic - nothing between these items can be found.
  • Abstraction - a symbolic simplification by abstracting from specific details. Mental abstraction allows us, for example, identify the essential key moments in the logical development of the historical events, such as the French revolution, not getting bogged down in specific detail.
  • Concretization - the transition, on the contrary, to detail the content of the complication. Concrete is always richer in content than abstract; particular person has incomparably greater performance than an abstract concept "man." Leo Tolstoy, in addition to the features inherent in all people (just as belonging to the human race), and even the great Russian writer, philosopher, Earl, husband of Sophia Andreevny father, a landowner, a man certain temperament, character, and his personal experiences and life problems - immensely complex personality, the diversity of which can be expressed only by means of a successful term in ancient Greek philosophy - the microcosm, ie as complex as the infinite space - the macrocosm.
Stages solutions of intellectual problems

According to the Soviet psychologist Luria in solving man goes through a series of stages:

  • first - to study the conditions of the problem;
  • the second - to develop a strategy to solve the problem (common approaches);
  • third - choice of tactics solutions, ie specific methods;
  • fourth - the solution obtained is compared with the original data and verified the correctness of the decision.

But long-term studies (Wallace) in the field of creative problem solving offer a slightly different mechanism of mental activity leading to significant new solution.

This mechanism also includes four stages:

The first stage - preparation, at this stage, selected information pertaining to the problem.

The second stage - incubation, at this stage, a researcher at the time delays work on the problem by switching to other things.

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