Chapter 10. Thinking
Everyone doubts his memory and no one doubts his ability to judge.
The concept of thinking
Thinking is a cognitive process characterized by a generalized and mediated reflection of reality.
We resort to the help of thinking when we can not get information based on the work of the sense organs alone. In such cases, you have to acquire new knowledge through thinking, building a system of conclusions. So, having looked at the thermometer hung from the outside of the window, we find out what is the temperature of the air in the street. In order to get this knowledge, you do not need to go out. Seeing the heavily swaying treetops, we conclude that the wind is outside.
In addition to the two commonly recorded characteristics of thinking (generalization and mediation), it is important to point out two more of its features - the connection of thinking with action and with speech.
Thinking is closely related to action. Man realizes the reality, influences it, understands the world, changing it. Thinking is not simply accompanied by action or action-thinking; action is the primary form of the existence of thinking. The primary form of thinking is thinking in action or action. All mental operations (analysis, synthesis, etc.) first emerged as practical operations, then became the operations of theoretical thinking. Thinking was born in labor activity as a practical operation and only then it was separated into independent theoretical activity.
When characterizing thinking, it is important to point out the connection between thinking and speech. We think in words. The highest form of thinking is verbal-logical thinking, through which a person becomes able to reflect complex connections, relationships, form concepts, draw conclusions and solve complex abstract problems.
Human thinking is impossible without language. Adults and children solve problems much better if they formulate them aloud. Conversely, when in the experiment the subject was fixing his tongue (clamped his teeth), the quality and number of solved problems worsened.
It is interesting that any proposal to solve a complex problem causes the subject to have distinct electrical discharges in the speech muscles, which do not appear in the form of external speech, but always precede it. It is characteristic that the described electric discharges, which are symptoms of internal speech, arise with any intellectual activity (even that which was previously considered to be non-verbal) and disappear when intellectual activity acquires a habitual, automated character.
Types of thinking
Genetic psychology distinguishes three types of thinking: visual-effective, visual-figurative and verbal-logical.
Features of visual-effective thinking are manifested in the fact that tasks are solved with the help of a real, physical transformation of the situation, manipulation with objects. This form of thinking is most typical for children under 3 years old. A child of this age compares objects, overlapping one another or putting one to another; he analyzes, breaking his toy into pieces; he synthesizes, folding out of cubes or sticks "home"; he classifies and generalizes, laying out cubes by color. The child does not set goals before himself and does not plan his actions. The child thinks acting. The movement of the hand at this stage is ahead of the thinking. Therefore this kind of thinking is also called tame. One should not think that visual-efficient thinking does not occur in adults. It is often used in everyday life (for example, when rearranging furniture in a room or, if necessary, using unfamiliar technology) and it becomes necessary when it is impossible to completely provide the results of any actions in advance.
Visual-figurative thinking is associated with the manipulation of images. It allows you to analyze, compare and generalize various images, ideas about phenomena and objects. Visual-figurative thinking most fully recreates the diversity of the various characteristics of the subject. In the image can be simultaneously fixed the vision of the object from several points of view. In this capacity, visual-figurative thinking is almost inseparable from the imagination.
In its simplest form, visual-figurative thinking manifests itself in preschoolers aged 4-7 years. Here, practical actions seem to recede into the background, and when learning the object, the child does not need to touch it with his hands, but he needs to clearly perceive and visualize this object. It is visualization is a characteristic feature of the child's thinking at this age. It is expressed in the fact that the generalizations to which the child comes are closely connected with the isolated cases that are their source and support. The child comprehends only the visually perceived signs of things. All evidence is clear, specific. Visibility seems to be ahead of thinking, and when a child is asked why the boat is swimming, he can answer: because he is red or because it's Bovin the boat.
Adults also enjoy visual-figurative thinking. So, starting to repair the apartment, we can imagine in advance what will come of it. The images of wallpaper, the color of the ceiling, the coloring of windows and doors become means of solving the problem. Visual-figurative thinking allows you to come up with an image of such things, which in themselves are invisible. Thus, images of the atomic nucleus, the inner structure of the globe, etc. were created. In these cases, the images are conditional.
Verbal-logical, or abstract, thinking is the latest stage in the development of thinking. For verbal-logical thinking, the use of concepts, logical constructions, which sometimes do not have a direct figurative expression (for example, cost, honesty, pride, etc.) is typical. Thanks to verbal and logical thinking, a person can establish the most general laws, foresee the development of processes in nature and society, generalize various visual material.
In the process of thinking, several operations can be distinguished: comparison, analysis, synthesis, abstraction and generalization. Comparison - thinking compares things, phenomena and their properties, revealing similarities and differences, which leads to classification. Analysis - the mental dismemberment of an object, phenomenon, or situation to isolate the constituent elements. Thus, we separate the nonessential connections that are given in perception. Synthesis is the reverse process of the process, which restores the whole, finding significant connections and relationships. Analysis and synthesis in thinking are interrelated. Analysis without synthesis leads to a mechanical note of the whole to the sum of parts, synthesis is also impossible without analysis, since it must restore the whole of the parts isolated by the analysis. Some people in the thinking warehouse tend to analyze, while others have a tendency to synthesis. Abstraction is the selection of one side, the properties and distraction from the others. Starting with the selection of individual sensory properties, the abstraction then proceeds to isolate the non-sensory properties expressed in abstract concepts. Generalization (or generalization) is the rejection of single attributes while preserving the common, with the disclosure of essential links. Generalization can be accomplished by comparison, in which general qualities are singled out. Abstraction and generalization are two interconnected sides of a single thought process, by means of which thought goes to knowledge.
The process of verbal-logical thinking proceeds according to a certain algorithm. Initially, a person considers one proposition, adds another to it and on the basis of which makes a logical conclusion.
1st judgment: all metals conduct electricity. 2-nd judgment: iron is metal.
Inference - iron conducts electricity.
The process of thinking does not always happen according to logical laws. Freud singled out the type of an illogical thought process that he called predicative thinking. If two sentences have the same predicates or endings, then people unconsciously associate their subjects with each other. Advertisements are often calculated precisely on predicative thinking. Their authors can, for example, argue that "outstanding people are washing their heads with Head and Shoulders" shampoo, hoping that you will be illogical in the following way:
■ Outstanding people wash their heads with Head and Shoulders shampoo.
■ I wash my head with Head and Shoulders shampoo.
Therefore, I am an outstanding person.
Predictive thinking is pseudological thinking, in which different subjects are unconsciously associated with each other on the basis of having one single common predicate.
Teachers began to express serious concern about the poor development of logical thinking in modern adolescents. A person who does not know how to think according to the laws of logic, critically comprehend information, can easily be fooled by propaganda or fraudulent advertising.
Tips for developing critical thinking
■ It is necessary to distinguish those judgments that are based on logic, from those based on emotions and feelings.
■ In any information, learn to see the positive and negative sides, consider all the pluses and minuses & quot ;.
■ There is nothing wrong with doubting something that does not seem entirely convincing to you.
■ Learn to notice inconsistencies in what you see and hear.
■ Do not wait for conclusions and solutions if you do not have enough information.
If you apply these tips, you will have a much better chance of not being deceived.
It should be noted that all types of thinking are closely interrelated. Coming to any practical action, we already have in mind the image that is yet to be achieved. Individual types of thinking are constantly mutually interchangeable. So, it is almost impossible to separate visual-figurative and verbal-logical thinking, when you have to work with diagrams and graphs. Therefore, when trying to determine the kind of thinking, it should be remembered that this process is always relative and conditional. Usually, all kinds of thinking are involved in a person, and one should speak about the relative predominance of one or another species.
Another important feature, according to which the typology of thinking is built, is the degree and nature of the novelty of information that is comprehended by man. Distinguish reproductive, productive and creative thinking.
Reproductive thinking is realized within the limits of reproduction in memory and the application of certain logical rules, without establishing any unusual, new associations, comparisons, analyzes, etc. And this can happen both consciously and at an intuitive, subconscious level. A typical example of reproductive thinking is the solution of typical problems by a predetermined algorithm.
Productive and creative thinking combines such features as going beyond the limits of available facts, highlighting hidden properties in these objects, revealing unusual connections, transferring principles, ways of solving a problem from one sphere to another, flexible changing the ways of solving problems, etc. . If such actions give rise to new knowledge or information for the student, but are not new to society, then we are dealing with productive thinking. If, as a result of mental activity, something new appears, to which no one has thought of before, then this is creative thinking.
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