Types of thinking in psychology with examples

Types of thinking

According to psychology, there are different types of thinking, which we tend to use on certain occasions, depending on the task we are carrying out. For example, the type of thinking we are going to use when we reflect on something like religion will be different from the type of thinking we are going to use to perform some mathematical calculation in the mind. There are 9 types of thoughts, among them are logical, critical, reflective, practical, systemic thinking, among others that we will see later.

Types of thinking in psychology and examples

what is thought

When we talk about thinking, we refer to a psychological mental process through which people can create, regulate and develop ideas about themselves, the environment around them or about others. The thoughts that people adopt have different individual characteristics and develop over time. A thought will always be accompanied by other types of mental processes that have a close relationship with the emotions that are regulated by the limbic system . Although, as we know, each person thinks for himself, it is also true that we adopt different ways of thinking.

When we talk about ways of thinking, we are referring to the different social interventions that we incorporate over time into our mentality, that is, they have to do with our own history and with social constructions.

Therefore, it can be said that all our ways of thinking were created and evolved over time, where human beings face different challenges and situations, which we overcome. This is what makes our ways of thinking extremely important, as above all it is about our own cultural heritage.

The 9 types of thinking according to psychology are as follows:

  1. reflective thinking
  2. critical thinking
  3. analytical thinking
  4. Logical thinking
  5. systems thinking
  6. analog thinking
  7. creative thinking
  8. deliberative thinking
  9. practical thinking

Types of thinking in psychology: reflective, critical and analytical

What is the use of knowing these 9 types of thoughts ? Since thoughts influence our emotions and therefore our actions and the way we live, it helps us to know and understand ourselves better.

reflective thinking

This type of thinking was exposed by one of the greatest North American scholars, John Dewey, in his book: “As We Think”. In this book, he recognizes the following values ​​in reflective thinking: it facilitates systematic action, guides our actions towards a goal in a conscious way, facilitates control between thought and action, and encourages us to look for the meaning of our actions or situations.

Reflective thinking, according to Dewey, refers to the different ways in which ideas or situations can be represented and expressed, which helps us to increase awareness of our own actions. In summary, we can say that this type of thinking helps us to plan in an orderly and more conscious way our behavior according to our expectations.

critical thinking

Critical thinking refers to the investigation, analysis and evaluation of knowledge , revealing the different realities that may be hidden behind reality, doing so in a logical way. It can be said that what critical thinking does is face reality in all its dimensions (reality as we want it to be, reality as we all see it, reality in the present and in the past). Therefore, this type of thinking, although it cannot allow us to state what reality is, allows us to state that it is somewhere between those that intertwine all realities.

analytical thinking

This type of thinking helps us to better understand a situation, classifying and/or organizing reality so that we can process it in the best way. People who adopt this type of thinking tend to have their ideas very clear and defined, as they make an exhaustive and reflective analysis of a problem or situation. This is achieved by dividing the problem into parts or categories, which are analyzed to obtain a good solution.

Types of thinking: logical, systemic, analogical and creative

We define the following types of thinking as the ability to understand, order and create the ideas that pass through our mind. Do you want to know more about these types of thinking? Then, write down the following definitions:

Logical thinking

This type of thinking is based on expressing ideas in an orderly way , which can lead us to convince ourselves that we are right. People who adopt this type of thinking are fundamentally based on the rules that are already established by a logical system. The idea is to be able to communicate to other people that the conclusions reached correspond to reality or not, with the expectations of what could be expected. In short, we can say that logical thinking is, above all, about getting new ideas from those you already have, following a logical and precise order.

systems thinking

This type of thinking refers to people’s ability to understand the relationships between the different elements that make up a system. This type of thinking is applicable to solving interpersonal problems, social and organizational relationships, etc. because it studies all the elements of the system and the interaction that exists between them.

analog thinking

This kind of thinking is indispensable to almost all human activities . Although at first glance it seems a bit complex, people tend to constantly use analogies in our everyday lives. When we think analogically, we are organizing our ideas in order to be able to make comparisons between them. An example of this would be the following: “Teachers who teach in the afternoon are similar to those who teach in the morning, so both are equally dedicated.”

creative thinking

This type of thinking refers to the production of new ideas , new experiences, new realities, as people who normally adopt this type of thinking believe that anything is possible, so that they are not limited when it comes to creating. People with this type of thinking are flexible and original people.

Types of deliberative and practical thinking

Generally, each person habitually adopts certain types of thoughts that they are more familiar with and that are related to their personality, however, all people are capable of applying all types of thoughts that exist to achieve the desired results. Next, we will define the last two types of thinking according to psychology:

deliberative thinking

This type of thinking refers to the way people make their decisions. The decisions that a person can make are not taken solely from logic, calculation or reasoning, but are mainly taken from certain criteria, personal values, ethical principles, already established norms, etc.

practical thinking

Practical thinking is a type of reasoning responsible for applying the knowledge acquired in a more simplified and practical way, so that, as each of the processes below are established and fulfilled, the desired results are obtained. The development of this type of thinking is very important to more effectively develop our activities in everyday life and in the workplace.

This article is merely informative, in Psicologia-Online we do not have the ability to make a diagnosis or indicate a treatment. We recommend that you consult a psychologist so that he can advise you on your particular case.

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