T is for… Thinking

The Psychologist A to Z continues.

Suggested by Christopher Kelly, Principal Human Factors Consultant with Thales Cyber & Consulting 

‘In general, thinking is the act of having an idea or thought in one’s mind, but it encompasses all mental activities from reasoning, problem-solving, decision-making and learning to contemplating, conceptualising, creativity and imagination. Few terms in psychology cover such a wide range of constructs and processes.’

Thinking in a second language drains the imagination of vividness, but makes us less prone to superstition. Search ‘thinking’ on our Research Digest blog. You’ll also discover why critical thinking skills are more important than IQ in making good decisions
in life.

What do psychologists think about machines that think? That was the 2015 Edge question. Steven Pinker noted: ‘It’s telling that many of our techno-prophets don’t entertain the possibility that artificial intelligence will develop along female lines: fully capable of solving problems, but with no desire to annihilate innocents or dominate the civilisation.’

Rather than yielding direct insights about what people think, it is safer to consider [much psychological] data as comprising what some people say about what they think they think. That’s the conclusion from Brian Hughes in an April 2017 extract on our website.

Our thinking is more agile, and fragile, than we might have thought, said Cecilia Heyes in a ‘Books’ Q+A last month.

Tweet your suggestions for any letter to @psychmag using the hashtag #PsychAtoZ or email the editor on [email protected]

- Our Psychologist A to Z so far is collected here.Share page with AddThis

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