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Thought or thinking is a mental process which allows beings to model the world, and so to deal with it effectively according to their goals, plans, ends and desires. Concepts akin to thought are sentience, consciousness, idea, and imagination.

Thinking involves manipulation of information, as when we form concepts, engage in problem solving, reason and make decisions. Thinking is a higher cognitive function and the analysis of thinking processes is part of cognitive psychology.

In the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, thinking means you tend to put a higher priority on impersonal factors than personal factors.

Aids to thinking

  1. Use of models, symbols, diagrams and pictures
  2. Use of abstraction to simplify the effort of thinking
  3. Use of metasyntactic variables to simplify the effort of naming
  4. Use of iteration and recursion to converge on a concept
  5. Limitation of attention to aid concentration and focus on a concept. Use of peace and quiet to aid concentration.
  6. Goal setting and goal revision. Simply letting the concept percolate in the subconscious, and waiting for the concept to re-surface.
  7. Talking with like-minded people. Resorting to communication with others, if this is allowed.

See George Polya's books on Heuristics

See also

See: Eric Baum What is Thought MIT Press 2004 ISBN 0-262-02548-5 - Chapter Two: The Mind is a Computer Program

Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04