6 December 2014

Concept of Thinking : Definitions , Characteristics and Tools

CTET Exam Notes : Child Development and Pedagogy (CDP)  

Topic  : Language & Thought


Concept of Thinking:

Thinking is a complex process which involves manipulation of information as we form concepts. It also engages in problem solving, reasoning and making decisions. Thinking is a higher cognitive function and the analysis of thinking processes is part of cognitive psychology. Thinking is a pattern of behaviour in which we make use of internal representations (symbols, signs etc.) of things and events for the solution of some specific, purposeful problem.

Definitions of Thinking:

Ross: Thinking is a mental activity in its cognitive aspect.
Kolesnik: Thinking is the reorganization of concepts.
Woodworth:  Thinking  is  mental  exploration  for  finding  out  the solution of a problem.

Characteristics of Thinking:

o   It  is  one  of  the  most  important  aspects  of  ones  cognitive behavior.
o   It depends on both – perception and memory.
o   Thinking is a mental process which starts with a problem and concludes with its solution.
o   It involves trail and error; analysis and synthesis; foresight and hindsight.
o   It is a symbolic behavior.
o   It is a cognitive activity.
o   It is always directed to achieve some purpose.
o   It is different from day-dreaming and imagination.
o   It is a problem-solving behavior.
o Thinking  is  a  symbolic  activity.  (e.g.:  engineers  use  mental symbols to design the plan for buildings)
o   There is mental exploration instead of motor exploration.

 (e.g.: if a person gets locked in a room and loses his keys and he starts searching for them in different places then this becomes motor exploration; but if he tries to think of different ways of how he can get out of the room then this becomes mental exploration- THINKING.)

Must Read: Types of Thinking

Tools of Thinking:

Concept of Thinking, Characteristics, Tools of Thinking, Types of Thinking, Convergent Thinking,  Divergent Thinking,  Critical Thinking,  Reflective Thinking,  Lateral Thinking, Difference between Convergent Thinking &  Divergent Thinking, CDP Notes, CTET Exam Notes, Child Development & Pedagogy Study Material

1.  Percepts,   2. Images / Object, 3. Concepts, 4. Symbols and Signs, 5. Language.

  •       Percepts: A mental impression of something perceived by the senses, viewed  as  the basic component in the formation of concepts is called percepts. Percepts are recognition and interpretation of sensory stimuli based chiefly on memory. Thus, the percept is a perceived form of external stimuli. The percept also binds sensations from all of the senses in a whole.
  •  Images / Objects: Often images are used as an instrument of thinking. These images may be images of personal experiences of objects, persons or scenes actually seen, heard or felt. These mental pictures symbolize actual objects, experiences and activities.
  •  Concepts: A concept is a ‘general idea’ that stands for a general class and represents the common characteristic of all objects or events of this general class. The concept formation saves our efforts in thinking. E.g. ‘Man is mortal’; you do not perceive a particular man but mankind in general i.e. including women. Thus the generalized ‘man’ is a concept.
  •  Symbols & signs: These represent & stand for a substitute for actual subjects, experiences and activities. e.g. Traffic lights, railway signals, school bells, songs, slogans etc stand for symbolic expression. Thus symbols and signs stimulate & economize thinking. They tell us at once what to do or how to act.
  •  Language: It serves not only as a link for intercommunication but also acts as a tool for thinking. It consists of words therefore uses symbols; sometimes we use gestures in our language. When one is listening, reading or writing, one is stimulated to think. Language is a most effective & developed tool for the process of thinking.
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