We all think, it’s obvious . If this were not the case, the name “homo sapiens” would not fit. Thinking is inherent to human nature. However, large portions of thought are biased, unfounded, and arbitrary.
And although it is an exaggeration, it is no less true that the quality of human existence, its material and intangible products, is anchored in the quality of thoughts .
The importance of analytical thinking
The more mediocre thought is, the less are the possibilities of building liberating structures , because freedom also depends on how we think.
Furthermore, analytical thinking is in itself important to understand how the human mind works and what its potentialities are. Learning how thinking works has been of interest to analytical thinking.
In this sense, analytical thinking or critical thinking is the process of collecting data, its multidimensional analysis and its evaluation, in order to understand, solve a problem or make the right decision. This type of thinking is very important for questions and decisions in everyday life, for example, to think through hypothetical questions about a physical activity, chemistry, etc.
This analytical thinking is based on the questions: what do you want to analyze and why? Once the purpose has been defined, we proceed to the collection of information, the analysis and the classification of ideas. Finally, the evaluation and conclusion of the finding is presented.
Characteristics of analytical thinking
Consequently, analytical thinking is characterized by a series of steps that must be followed with methodological rigor.
- The information: it is the raw material that is used to be processed mentally. It is essential to know how much data is required, how long it takes to collect and the adequacy of the data. It all depends on the approach to the problem to be studied, its scope and extension. Knowing how to keep the focus of an investigation is essential to achieve the objectives.
- Analysis and clearing of information: includes the analysis of the data to verify if they are adequate and useful to answer the questions raised. For this, the information is divided into parts and analyzed, in order to observe their links with each other and with prior knowledge on the subject.
Analytical thinking breaks down ideas, compares and contrasts them, and then explores causes and effects. In an analytical effort the themes, models and categories are determined.
The discussion is regularly supplemented by examples and facts (other than opinions) are highlighted first and foremost. Examining perspectives and assumptions is another constant in analytical thinking.
- Evaluation of the information: it is the examination of the evidence to know what is useful for the investigation.
Now, it is indisputable that thinking based on conclusions changes thinking , it is one of the most important constructs in teaching and the acquisition of knowledge, as it makes it more critical and reflective.
Other considerations on analytical thinking
The conclusions lead to thinking from one stage to another . For example, if someone affirms something the next question would be, is that a conclusion? If so, what is it based on? Is that evidence enough to support that conclusion?
The mere fact of speculating on this leads to deepening the resolution and development of analytical thinking.
To think analytically is to deeply understand how different analytical thinking is from thinking. Thus, this thought encompasses a series of norms, which are formulated in the following terms: reasonable, verifiable, logical, well organized, rational, authenticated, consistent, effective, falsifiable and objective.
While the above terms are inherent to analytical thinking, the following are norms of non-analytical thinking: fun, chic, exciting, spontaneous, feel good, advantageous, attention-grabbing, beneficial to me, and popular.
Examples of the use of analytical thinking in diverse fields
The utility of analytical thinking is vast. Below are proposed various mental capacities , typical of analytical thinking:
- Balanced decision making.
- Conceptual thinking.
- Assessment of claims.
- Problem solving.
- Observation of potential problems.
- Theoretical problem solving.
- It privileges common sense.
Regularly the most important companies in the area of the production of ideas and new technologies , use tests to analyze the natural talent of their possible agents, referring to the areas of analytical thinking, already mentioned.
And in the case of established personnel, companies seek to train and stimulate analytical thinking among their employees , with a view to strengthening their place in their competitor’s market.
In general, companies are looking for talents with the ability to investigate a problem and find a solution in a timely and efficient manner . Such is the case with communications technology companies, which are constantly improving the design and performance of their products.
The value of analytical thinking
The skills of analytical thinking are vital in technology companies because they strengthen research, enable visualization and comparison of complex problems. From the analytical capacity and the correct resolution of problems , the promotion among the managerial positions of a company depends to a great extent.
A practical example of analytical thinking is one that breaks down the problem posed into parts , starting from the general to the particular.
If in a house a short circuit has already been detected in one part (two rooms) of the house, what corresponds is to test the electrical continuity between cable sections, between each box of the general power cable of the two rooms.
The logical thing is to remove the electrical current and test the main cable that feeds the two rooms. After checking which is the section of cable that does not have continuity, we proceed to replace it. Thanks to analytical thinking, it is not necessary to change all the wiring.
As can be seen, the thought that made the solution of a problem possible (the short circuit) followed a series of ordered stages , starting from the general and reducing the problem to its constituent parts.
Other examples of applying analytical thinking
In the field of ecology, ecologists seek to understand plants and animals in the natural environment, focusing on their relationships, independence, and interactions with the environment.
In order to address each and every one of the problems raised, ecology pays dedicated attention to analytical thinking , asking questions, investigating, discriminating, checking the validity of hypotheses and reaching conclusions.
The fields of application are innumerable . Even analytical thinking is important to achieve the realization of great creative works, both in the visual arts and in architecture.
Science, Analytical Thinking, and Thinking Schemas
The common denominator in all scientific analysis is analytical thinking , which necessarily requires a purpose and a question or a series of them. People who develop an analytical mind require guidance, learning and praxis in following their thinking based on intellectual criteria, which are adaptable to any discipline.
Analytical thinking questions purposes, goals, problem definitions, data, notions … This makes it easier to reach the most essential logic of all disciplines, subjects or problems. It serves as a communicating vessel between the fields of knowledge, because it articulates the sense of interdisciplinarity and the universal method.
There are no recipes for analytical thinking
Of course, there is no recipe for stimulating inquisitive and powerful analytical minds, although it is possible to learn and stimulate that “plus” of potentiality that is there.
Creativity builds links between analytical thinking and practical thinking. Human beings require analytical thinking to explore the quality of their creative ideas . In addition, it is essential to think practically to apply those ideas.
In fields of knowledge as diverse as ecology and economics , psychology and computer science, aeronautics and anthropology, climatology and forensic medicine, artificial intelligence and the sound arts, etc., analytical thinking is a system of apprehension of essential and redundant knowledge for the survival not only of the human species, but of all the flora and fauna of the planet.
Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.