How to Find Your Thinking Type

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There are seven different kinds of thinking. Your dominant personality type influences your interests, how you solve problems, and how you collaborate with others at home and at work. Learn about each type and how to choose which ones to use.

 

7 Thinking Styles

Each of the seven major thinking styles has distinct advantages and mental processes.

1. Abstract thinking: Abstract thinking entails connecting and relating ideas to the big picture by using symbols and concepts. This way of thinking enables you to solve puzzles, comprehend illusions, and discover hidden meanings. Find out more about abstract thinking.

2. Analytical thinking: Analytical thinking is based on a logical and structured approach to information. Analytical thinkers excel at problem solving and frequently make decisions in a step-by-step manner.

3. Concrete thinking (also known as literal thinking) is when you think about the world in a very straightforward, logical manner. Concrete thinkers seek facts and concrete evidence to back up their claims and may struggle to come up with creative solutions.

4. Convergent thinking: Convergent thinkers solve a problem by combining information or resources (rather than thinking of many alternative solutions). When you have limited information or are in an emergency situation, this type of thinking comes in handy.

5. Creative thinking: Finding alternative solutions that may not appear obvious at first glance is what creative thinking entails. Creative thinking skills necessitate thinking outside the box and looking beyond current constraints.

6. Critical thinking: Critical thinkers carefully consider situations from all perspectives. Critical thinking skills necessitate considering all research, implications, and potential solutions before deciding on the best course of action.

7. Divergent thinking: Divergent thinking, as opposed to convergent thinking, involves considering every possible solution to a problem. Divergent thinkers frequently use mind mapping in their thinking process (where the problem is at the center of a web with all possible solutions expanding from that point).

 

How to Determine Your Thinking Style

Consider the following to determine the type of thinking you prefer:

Consider your reaction to problems. When a problem arises, you most likely use one (or more) types of thinking. Consider the last time you solved a problem and whether you used out-of-the-box solutions or jumped to the logical steps you could take.

Scrutinize how you collaborate with others. Interactions with others reveal a lot about how people think. Consider how you work with colleagues or family members. For example, if you want to decide where to go to lunch with a group of people and you first consider constraints (other people's dietary restrictions, food preferences, distance to everyone's location, etc.) before making a suggestion, you may be a convergent thinker.

Take note of your passions. Your way of thinking may influence your interests. For example, if you enjoy free-thinking, creative endeavors (such as poetry and art), you might be a creative thinker. You might be an abstract thinker if you enjoy puzzles and word games. Examine the relationship between your interests and your thinking style.

Take a test online. You can use any free online test to determine which thinking method you prefer.

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