The human thought is the thought process that, by the very nature of brain activity, is associative and consequently repetitious as it returns again and again to the content accumulated in memory.

Thought is the mixture between the perseverance of ideas in consciousness and their whirlwind, which cannot be stopped for long at one point.

Some characteristics of thought

Thought is, by its constitution, arborescent, because it is associative and is nourished by the multiple sensory channels (read, bodily senses) and connections with the environment, apart from its internal somatic consciousness.

The thought is dynamic . One idea is replaced by another that is similar to it, in an open game of coincidences and coincidences. Thought is a whirlwind of ideas product of its associative and persevering nature.

From discernment and recognition, thought structures new notions based on what it already knows and thus new thought is generated.

The basic entities of thought are images and ideas. Anyone can imagine a bird because they have already had previous information about what one is like. If you ever see a bird with special characteristics, which you have not seen before, surely your notion of bird will be expanded. He will think of that species that he did not know.

Critical thinking

It is the thought that consists of the skill of thinking rationally, understanding the logical link between ideas. It is the ability of the mind to develop independent and reflective thinking .

The most important thinkers on the planet have developed critical thinking , which has allowed them to contribute new knowledge in areas as diverse as the social sciences and factual sciences.

And it is that people who have developed this type of thinking question notions, scientific theories, even their own ideas, which has allowed to subvert knowledge and advance in new technologies and in everything that serves to improve living conditions of humanity.

Keywords in critical thinking are reasoning, continuous learning, and questioning.

Analytical thinking

The analytical thinking is the activity mentally able to discern and break down complex problems into fragments in order to more easily analyze their constitution and get solutions.

By its strategies, analytical thinking prevents blockages , since it paves the way for different answers, seeking more information on the subject in question, questioning hypotheses, raising others, and reaching conclusions.

An example of this type of thinking is practiced in criminology: a team of agents, based on forensic investigation and other techniques that provide evidence, decompose all the elements of the investigation to discard some and focus on others, starting from various hypotheses.

Creative thinking

A concept of creative thinking must first start from its possibilities to generate ideas and propose different and original solutions.

It is the ability of the mind to understand, invent and create new associations between acquired knowledge and knowledge in full development. The synthesis between two stages of the mind allows the configuration of meaningful knowledge. 

On the other hand, creative thinking is nourished by critical thinking, thanks to the participation of analogical-rational thinking with the aim of defining new ideas. Critical thinking serves creative thinking in an instrumental way.

To think creatively is to think positively. Creativity is a broad phenomenon, composed of spontaneity, a sense of humor, curiosity, playfulness, intuition, imagination, independence, intelligence, perseverance and associative capacity.

This last factor is of enormous importance in creative problem solving.

Deductive thinking 

Deductive thinking is the mental ability or way of reasoning logically about problems from the macro to the micro , from the general to the particular.

The strategy consists of gathering the general premises in order to reach specific conclusions . In this case, it is essential:

  1. The validity of the argument
  2. The proposition (the degree of truth of the statement)
  3. The premise (governed by logic)
  4. The conclusion (for logic, it is a proposition that is at the end of the argument)
  5. The axiom (it is the obvious proposition, which does not require prior proof)
  6. Finally, the rules of inference .

Deductive reasoning is, for example, if Pedro (a) is Juan (b), and Juan (b) is Andrés (c), then Juan (b) is Andrés (c). Deductive reasonings are, in this sense, those that are based on two premises that are linked due to a conclusion.

Inductive thinking

Inductive thinking is the mental ability or way of reasoning logically about problems from the micro to the macro, from the particular to the general.

Its main characteristic is precisely that the general conclusions are obtained from premises that contain particular data.

For example, from the repeated observation of events of the same nature, a conclusion is produced for all events of the same nature.

Lateral thinking

It is another way of approaching the problems that arise, of exploring knowledge with heterodox methods . For this, the lateral is linked to the mental processes of insight, creativity and ingenuity, although it is more likely to be determined by the conscious will.

Lateral thinking is related to creativity. Historically, creativity has been introduced into a mysterious niche that belongs only to artists, in a kind of alternate space, endowed with mysticism . Well, the function of lateral thinking is to end that mysticism and locate it as a way to use the mind and process information.

From the implementation of lateral thinking, the creation of new concepts is sought. The new notions are factors of change and progress in all areas of knowledge. Technical invention, science in its broadest sense, the arts in general, the social sciences , all fields are fertile ground for the development of lateral thinking.

The lateral thinking also provides a mechanism for changing outdated and restrictive ideas, which do not allow multiple perspectives. The lateral strategy depolarizes notions and ideologies and stimulates novel ideas, thus differentiating itself from vertical or logical thinking.

In lateral thinking, misleading approaches are commonly used as a starting point to reach a solution. Meanwhile, logical thinking, by its very constitution, rules out any wrong approach (for example, in mathematics).

Lateral thinking is allowed the license to investigate matters that are apparently unrelated to the study problem . In logical thinking that is impossible. However, both types of thinking complement each other, lateral thinking is creative, logical thinking is selective.

The formal studies of a work of art and the conclusions that could be reached belong to the field of lateral thinking.

And this is so because a series of phases are fulfilled in the research process, a conclusion is reached that is fully valid in the area of ​​artistic qualities; However, despite the logical chain of concepts and definitions, any conclusion is supported on a basis without possibilities of scientific demonstration or belongs to the field of subjectivity.

Convergent thinking

Convergent thinking is one that focuses on the correct solution to a problem. The decipherable problems through convergent thinking have a single solution or there are few alternatives.

For example, a math problem requires a one-time, unique answer. A simple selection test is made to be solved through convergent thinking, because it only accepts one correct answer. 

In this case, inventiveness or creativity do not matter. In intelligence tests the use of convergent thinking is common.

This type of thinking has made possible the creation of technological inventions and all kinds of digital artifacts. From convergent thinking, one can move to divergent thinking, which opens up alternatives and stimulates creative processes.

The neuroscientific research found that convergent thinking comes from the left hemisphere of the brain.

Divergent thinking

Divergent thinking is a flexible and original way of thinking. It has been recognized as a very important source for creativity . Problems are solved in a brilliant and cool way.

It is conducive to issues that have no single solution and need a sensitive and inventive approach. This thought is outside the pre-established models and favors the free flow of ideas. The vein of divergent thinking is free imagination , without any subjection to already established notions or ideas.

Divergent thinking is by its very nature open. A typical exercise where divergent thinking is used is when a subject is asked to explore all the possible uses of a sheet of paper.

In all problems where imagination and creativity are fundamental, the subject turns to divergent thinking, located in the right hemisphere of the brain.

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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.

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