The main forms of thinking. Forms of thinking in psychology

The highest stage of knowledge of the world is thinking. Without it, it is impossible to get an idea of ​​the objects that are inaccessible to us in the sense plan, the features, the interrelations of reality. Forms of thinking are diverse. It is the object of research in many sciences, especially such as logic, psychology, neurophysiology.

Thinking process

Thinking is a special process with a number of signs. Separately consider the mechanism of flow, the form of thinking in psychology and the operation of the thinking process.

concept as a form of thinking

  • Generalization. Thinking reflects the surrounding reality in a generalized form. Man applies generalizations to single objects, phenomena.
  • Another sign of thinking ismediated cognition of the surrounding world, that is, a person is able to characterize and judge objects without direct contact, by analyzing information.

Features of the process of thinking

Forms of thinking

Operations of the thought process

  • Reflection through generalization
  • Cognition is indirect
  • Solving specific situations
  • Communicate with speech
  • Concept
  • Judgment
  • Inference
  • Analysis
  • Synthesis
  • Comparison
  • Generalization
  • Abstraction
  • Concretization

Rational and intuitive thinking

The types and forms of thinking that are clearly following logical connections and leading to a specific goal without regard to the sensual sphere are rational. The sphere of desires, impulses, premonitions, experiences and impressions is rejected. If a difficult situation plunges a person into a storm of emotions, he can pull himself together due to a rational way of thinking. Rational thinking gives only clear and impartial characteristics of an object from any sphere. Personal emotions with rational thinking are absent, but it is not always productive. There are such forms of rational thinking, as a concept, judgment, inference.

forms of thinking

Irrational thinking, on the contrary, is carried out in the absence of logic, goals and interrelations. An intuitive view of the situation is the basis of figurative thinking. It does not involve the use of analysis.Intuitive types and forms of thinking do not require verbal expression. Language, albeit mentally, is necessary in a rational sphere based on a verbal-conceptual basis. The result of intuitive thinking depends on the investment in the image of personal and semantic content, which is necessary for creative people who create works of art.

Understanding between people happens simply when they operate on rational concepts, because their essence is precisely defined. To convey your feelings and feelings to the interlocutor is quite difficult. Feelings expressed through speech will no longer be perceived by the listener. As for misunderstanding in communication, Tyutchev aptly remarked: "A spoken thought is a lie."

Forms of realization of thought processes

For better understanding, we all grouped the forms into the table below.



  • Conceptual form

The concept as a form of thinking contributes to the knowledge of the essence of an existing object (object, phenomenon), the identification of objective relationships, the definition of relationships, the synthesis of features.

The properties of each object or phenomenon are diverse, they can be significant and insignificant.

The concept as a form of thinking exists in verbal form. Words denote the concepts of a single (“planet”, “edge”), a general (“term”, “element”), concrete or abstract (“evil” and “good”) character.

A large amount of signs is a property of generic concepts (“animal”, “furniture”), a smaller number of signs are possessed by species concepts (“primate”, “sofa”).

  • Form of judgment

Judgment as a form of thinking contains confirmation / non-confirmation of any fact, the position of the subject, connection with phenomena, properties, events. It can be contestable, general and individual.

For the manifestation of judgments, it is necessary to apply full phrases Judgment as a form of thinking is identical with a sentence. Judgments do not include all phrases from interjections and some of several words (“Ah!”, “What else?”)

  • Inference form

Inference as a form of thinking arises when several judgments are combined. Inference is divided into inductive and deductive.

The method of induction involves the synthesis, the union of individual elements. With its help, patterns and rules are highlighted in the study of various phenomena.

The method of deduction involves the course of thoughts from the overall picture to the individual details, facts. This is the acquisition of knowledge based on existing patterns.

A person implements the above-listed forms of thinking in all their forms, taking into account the tasks to be solved.


judgment as a form of thinking

Judgment is a form of thought that establishes a logical relationship of concepts, the coincidence of which (identity) is expressed by the “is” link, the contradiction is “not is”. Interconnection or non-identity is expressed in the form of sentences, for example, as Wetley said: “Logic is the science of language.” Sentences are merely a verbal shell of judgment, but they cannot be one and the same. For example, logical forms of thinking cannot be reflected in interrogative and stimulating sentences. Any judgments can be expressed in the form of sentences, but not all phrases relate to judgments. True judgments really reflect the essence and characteristics of the object, and false - inadequate.

Inference as a form of thinking

Inference allows to obtain "fresh" knowledge on the basis of the available information. It is formed as a result of the transition from any statements about the real world to a new conclusion, which is a new knowledge about the situation.For example, the coincidence of the geometric center and the center of gravity of a body is possible when its density coincides in all its parts. Astronomical observations have shown that these centers at the Earth do not coincide. The conclusion follows: the Earth has a different density in its different parts. In this way, one can obtain new knowledge without investigating the object.

inference as a form of thinking

Substantive conclusions (an act of the psyche) are formed as a result of the transition from statements to conclusion on an intuitive basis, intuition suggests the existence of a connection between objects, phenomena. Formal-logical conclusions (logical forms of thinking) are formed with the participation of logic.

Thought processes

Work on various tasks and situations (in theory, in practice) is impossible without using the following processes in various combinations.

  • Analysis

Thought process: an object (phenomenon, situation) is mentally divided into its component parts. Accompanied by the separation of irrelevant connections.

  • Synthesis

The restoration of the whole from the scattered elements is the reverse process of analysis. The predominance of analysis or synthesis in the stock of thinking depends on the individual's inclination for different mental forms.

  • Comparison

To compare objects (concepts, things) means to compare them, to see in them the general and the different, to classify (to combine according to one attribute).

  • Abstraction

The process by which an object is viewed from a certain angle: one feature is distinguished (a property, a side) of an object and is “abstracted” (not noticed), diverted from other features.

  • Concretization

Handling specific phenomena, the opposite of abstraction

  • Generalization

Identification of the maximum number of close features, features and relationships between objects (things, concepts), discarding features that are single, random.

Scientific thinking

The beginning of the process of thinking can put the onset of a problem situation and the need to solve it. The thought process is not feasible without the ability to raise a question, to see the incomprehensible, the unknown.

forms of thinking in psychology

Forms of scientific thinking are the formulation of a problem (question), the determination of evidence or refutations of a fact, a hypothesis and a theory. The last two forms relate to advanced knowledge and are necessary to stimulate scientific research and substantiate the results.

Principles, laws and other categories do not belong to the forms of scientific thinking, as they are either concepts or judgments.

Types of thinking

Taking into account the tasks that the individual solves, there are three directions of thinking.

Visually effective

The perception of the environment and objects directly associated with the commission of real actions to transform objects. Forms of thinking used in activities where practical analysis and combination (design, invention, chess game) are needed.


It is based on figurative representations necessary for mental resolution and transformation of situations. Its feature is the appearance of unusual thoughts and combinations of objects, objects, combined in an incredible way. It is used by people whose profession is related to the representation of objects, phenomena (acting or playing musical instruments, writing articles and books).


Basis - logical operations with concepts. Forms of abstract thinking allow you to establish social or natural laws, work on scientific hypotheses and theories, solve problems.

These types of thinking reflect a phased development of intelligence. In adults, they are determined by the individual characteristics associated with the occupation, profession. Any types and forms of thinking are always interrelated.

Features of thinking

main forms of thinking

The main forms of thinking exist on the basis of psychological laws, taking into account the development of the mind and intelligence of different people. What characteristics determine the quality of the mind?

  • Flexibility- the ability to adapt to a rapidly changing situation, to change the course of action.
  • Depth- the ability to penetrate the essence of a complex problem, find its causes, see new tasks where others do not notice them.
  • Speed- the ability to quickly apply the main forms of thinking, solve the situation, make a decision. It depends on the amount of knowledge, development of thinking skills, experience.
  • Independence- the ability to set a new goal and achieve it without the participation of another individual. It is formed on the basis of information transmitted from surrounding people. A self-thinking person can approach the study of the world from a creative point of view, find options for resolving a situation.
  • Latitude- ability to cover a large number of topics.It reflects the level of erudition, intellect and versatile development.
  • Sequence- the ability to follow logic, maintain logical continuity in the expression of thoughts, to substantiate judgments.
  • Criticality- the ability in knowledge not to be influenced by the thoughts of others. The individual critically thinking can soberly assess the strengths and weaknesses, features of the object, the phenomenon. He is inclined to thorough verification of his decisions and demanding evaluation of his thoughts.

types and forms of thinking

The formation of all mental qualities takes place in a complex and always goes hand in hand with intellectual development. The level of ability to effectively address the situations and problems arising in the way is called intelligence. The improvement of important mental qualities, the development of personality in many areas depend on the good organization of educational and professional activities.

Practical tasks for the application of mental processes

№ 1. Comparison

The task: find common signs in each pair of concepts and answer the question what forms of thinking in psychology have been used. Several pairs are related to similar "same-field" concepts (for example,“Football” and “cue” report a sport or game), others refer to “multi-field” from the point of view of semantics, the answers to which are not taken into account. Random or purely external signs are not counted. Answers on "single-field" are compared with the correct results (the norm is from 10 to 15 matches).

№ 2. Discourse

The task: Swahili is one of the African languages. Using a few quotes, you need to translate the phrase “I love you” into Swahili.

"he loves you"


"He fights with them"


"I'm fighting with you"


"He loves us"


During the group discussion, speak through the stages of solving the task and analyze in stages how they received the right answer - “nikupenda”.

No. 3. The game "King and three prisoners"

Group game for 10-13 people, several groups can participate. Each group will have to make a decision and discuss it in front of everyone when summing up the results. “The king has three prisoners. He came up with a game to decide whom to execute and who could be pardoned. Blindfolded prisoners must draw lots (from 1 to 5), a piece of paper with a number is placed on each back. Two numbers are black, the rest are white.When all the papers were attached to the backs, the prisoners were placed in a row and the bandages removed. The king promised that he would free the one who guesses the color of the number from his back. The prisoner, who was standing at the end of the line, saw the numbers ahead of him, but he was mistaken. The second one who saw the number of the first one didn’t give the right answer either. The first prisoner in the line did not see a single number and answered: "White." The king released him for the correct answer.

The task:as the first prisoner reasoned, restore his train of thought (to solve the problem, it is necessary to think about why two other prisoners were mistaken).

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