Thinking skills

General description

Thinking skills are the mental processes that we use to make some decisions, construct questions, resolve problems, evaluate ideas and systematize information. These skills help us to integrate new knowledge, experience to already formed system that we are building of «how things are». Obviously, the better thinking potential will help us to improve the quality of remembering information.

The thinking skills can be observed through different classifications, but the most popular is based on Bloom’s Taxonomy of Thinking. The famous researcher Benjamin Bloom created a system of educational objectives which was divided in three groups: cognitive, affective and psycho-motor.

The cognitive  one is represented by:

  • information gathering, for example, knowledge of dates, places, events, observation of information, knowledge of major ideas;
  • understanding of concepts, meanings, principles, interpreting facts etc.;
  • use of knowledge obtained before, concepts, theories in new cases;
  • using and understanding the structure and patterns;
  • evaluating the results, judging, comparing;
  • creating new combinations.

The affective  group’s objectives are the following: receiving (knowledge, experience), responding (new action according to gained experience), valuing (showing involvement), organization (adapting a new value in general set of values), characterization by value (acting with new value).

The psycho-motor is mostly connected directly with abilities and movements (perceptual abilities, skilled movements etc.).

There is also a much easier system of dividing the thinking skills on two categories that grasp the processes listed above: cognitive and reflective.

Beside this, we can separate the critical and creative thinking. The critical is the process of reflection our evaluations, judgment, assessment of our or others ideas, actions, efforts etc., when the creative is a procedure of developing ideas, visions that worth of elaboration. The critical thinking includes analyzing, discriminating, information seeking, predicting, logical reasoning and creative one use more flexible approaches like looking for many possible answers, allowing your emotions to go over rationalism, treat all ideas, playing with theories, making mistakes and others.

Improvement and optimizing of thinking abilities

The thinking skills can be developed by different exercises, training, classes and so on. For example, you can make some breath exercises, taking several breaths from your belly, because stomach breathing will activate your brain and optimize your memory functions. The other thing you can go for is chewing gum, even it sounds strange, but the action you do during chewing increases the flow of blood to a brain so you will be able to concentrate and retain information better. Some physical exercises can help you as well like arm circles (pretending that you swimming with the straight hands) that will increase your heart rate which is good for the brain too. The things that matters are food and amount of water. For keeping your thinking skills in good condition you should consume enough water and don’t have food with fat or sugar, as in comparison, such food as vegetables, fish, whole grains will affect your thinking skills in good way. Also, you can try some brain games like puzzles, Sudoku, Rubik’s cube that will activate your mind faster. Bear in mind, that there are plenty of methods to develop your thinking skills and it’s really reasonable to do it as it will help you to get new achievements and be successful in business and social life.

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