Thinking is a cognitive ability that people have, which allows us to reflect on certain situations, solve problems, discover new things and learn, among other things.
Thinking involves forming ideas (or representations) of reality in the mind, as well as relating them to each other.
But there is not only one type of thinking, but several. Each of them has certain characteristics. In this article we will know and explain the 11 most important types of thinking that exist..
- You may be interested in: “The 16 different personality types and their description”.
The 11 types of thinking
As we said, there are different types of thinking. This implies that the same way is not always used to reach the same conclusions; that is, each of the types of thinking allows reaching conclusions through one way or another.
Moreover, each of them has different characteristics. Let’s get to know them below.
1. Deductive thinking
The first of the types of thinking that we are going to explain is the deductive one.The reasoning process consists of a way of reasoning, which is based on obtaining conclusions from previous general premises. That is, it involves reasoning and drawing conclusions from a series of initial information or statements.
Between this initial information and the final conclusion, there are a series of logical steps. This type of thinking goes from the general to the specific. An example of deductive thinking would be the following:
- Premise 1Premise 1: All animals are living beings. All men are mortal.
- Premise 2A butterfly is an animal.
- ConclusionA butterfly is a living being.
2. Inductive thinking
Inductive thinking, on the other hand, goes from the specific or particular to the general. It is also called deductive syllogism. In this case, conclusions are drawn, but more general than in deductive thinking; these, moreover, are obtained from the initial data, which are usually concrete and specific.
This type of thinking is the basis for hypothesis testing, since it allows us to inquire about specific issues. An example of inductive thinking would be the following:
- Premise 1Friend A, friend B and friend C can drink alcohol.
- Premise 2Friend A, friend B and friend C are of legal age.
- Conclusion AAll persons of legal age can consume alcohol.
3. Instinctive thinking
This type of thinking is less influenced by logic and reason than other types of thinking. and reason than other types of thinking. It is based on sensations or assumptions. Sometimes, people who use instinctive thinking make inferences from the data they have, and end up finding strategies to solve the problem.
In other words, it is thinking based on intuition. It can be said that practically all people have used this type of thinking at some time, in situations where they could not apply reason alone.
4. Practical thinking
Practical thinking is based, above all, on perception.. An example of this is trial and error techniques, where the person tries different alternatives or strategies to reach a conclusion or solution.
Sometimes this thinking is also called “common thinking”, since everyone can use it at one time or another. This type of thinking is applied through visualizing the problem and looking for the necessary tools to solve it, even if it means trying different options.
5. Creative thinking
The next type of thinking is creative thinking. This is characterized by being flexible and original, by moving away from the norm and by bringing new values to the table.. Many authors relate creativity to the optimization of learning.
Creative thinking can be applied to numerous problems, both in everyday life and in the academic environment; it seeks to find a solution where “few have looked”.
6. Analogical thinking
The next of the types of thinking that we raise is analogical thinking.. An analogy involves looking for characteristics of an unknown object in a known object, establishing a similarity between the two. That is to say, it consists of “looking for commonalities” or similarities in different objects, stimuli, figures, etc.
7. Logical thinking
Logical thinking, as its name suggests, is based on applying logic (and reason) in order to find an efficient solution to a problem.. It is also based on searching for ideas and developing new ones from them.
In fact, there are authors who consider logical thinking as a type of thinking where other subtypes would be grouped: deductive, inductive and analogical thinking (already explained). However, logical thinking can also be considered an independent type of thinking.
8. Systems thinking
Systemic thinking consists of visualizing a situation or a problem in a global way, but taking into account each and every one of its components.It is a systemic way of thinking, but taking into account each and every one of the parts that make it up.
In reality, however, it takes more into account the final system that is obtained from different elements. It involves analyzing reality from a macro point of view (vs. micro, which would be typical of analytical thinking).
9. Analytical thinking
Analytical thinking, unlike the previous one, does focus on analyzing or exploring the role of each of the parts that make up a system.. That is, it goes more to the detail (micro level).
This type of thinking allows the person to understand a situation or a problem through the organization of its elements in a systematic way. In addition, it establishes what type of interrelationships occur in that system, in order to understand the totality of the problem.
10. Deliberative thinking
Deliberative thinking is that which helps to make decisions.that is, it guides us to make a decision. It is based on a series of criteria and values, which the person takes as true; in addition, it is based on gathering information to reach a concrete solution.
This type of thinking, like many of the previous ones, can be applied to different problems, but especially personal ones, since it does not require the use of reason.
11. Interrogative thinking
Interrogative thinking, as its name implies, generates a series of questions that allow us to obtain a solution to a problem.. That is, it is based on the questioning of reality, on generating doubts, on raising things, on inducing questions.
This is an ideal type of thinking to promote in children, especially in the schooling period, since questioning things will create curiosity in them and encourage their autonomy in the learning process.