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The Thinking Portal

Thought or thinking is a mental process which allows beings to model their world, and so to deal with it effectively according to their goals, plans, ends and desires. Words referring to similar concepts and processes in the English language include cognition, sentience, consciousness, idea, and imagination.

Thinking involves manipulation of information, as when we form concepts, engage in problem solving, reason and make decisions. Thinking involves observation -> inference-> confirmation of facts. Human beings brain is similar to that of a computers CPU and memory chips.

Thinking is a higher cognitive function and the analysis of thinking processes, it is studied by several different disciplinary branches, including: cognitive psychology, philosophy, neuropsychology and other fields of study


Selected cognitive function article

Attention is the cognitive process of selectively concentrating on one thing while ignoring other things. Examples include listening carefully to what someone is saying while ignoring other conversations in the room (e.g. the cocktail party problem, Cherry, 1953). Attention can also be split, as when a person drives a car and talks on a cell phone at the same time.

Attention is one of the most intensely studied topics within psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Of the many cognitive processes associated with the human mind (decision-making, memory, emotion, etc), attention is considered the most concrete because it is tied so closely to perception. As such, it is a gateway to the rest of cognition.

The most famous definition of attention was provided by one of the first major psychologists, William James:

"Everyone knows what attention is. It is the taking possession by the mind in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought...It implies withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others." (Principles of Psychology, 1890)


Selected picture

Guru Mindmap.jpg.

A hand-drawn mind map, a thinking tool.


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Topics related to Thinking

In addition to the topics below, see the List of thought processes
Awareness Attention, Automaticity, Cognition, Cognitive dissonance, Cognitive map, Concept, Concept map, Conceptual model, Consciousness, Domain knowledge, Heuristic, Information, Intelligence, Intuition, Knowledge, Memory suppression, Mental model, Metaknowledge, Mind map, Model (abstract), Option awareness, Percept, Perception, Qualia, Selective attention, Self-awareness, Self-concept, Self-consciousness, Self-knowledge, Self-realization, Self-reflection, Sentience, Situational awareness, Subjective ideas, Understanding

Brain and brain biology Action potential, Acetylcholine, Acetylcholinesterase, Aging and memory, Albert Einstein's brain, Brain, Central nervous system CNS), Dendrite, Dopamine, Glial cells, Human brain, Long-term potentiation, Mirror neuron, Nervous system, Neurite, Neuron, Neuroplasticity, Neuroscience, Neurotransmitter, Sensory neuroscience, Synapse, Synaptic plasticity

Creative processes Brainstorming, Creativity, Creative problem solving, Creative writing, Creative thinking, Creativity techniques, Creative Synthesis, Design thinking, Emergentism, Hypothesis, Idea, Image streaming, Imagination, Inventing, Lateral thinking, Six Thinking Hats, Speech act, Stream of consciousness

Decision making Choice, Cybernetics, Decision, Decision making, Decision theory, Executive system, Goals and goal setting, Judgement, Planning, Rational choice theory, Speech act, Value (personal and cultural), Value judgment

Emotional intelligence Acting, Allophilia, Attitude (psychology), Curiosity, Elaboration likelihood model, Emotions, Emotion and memory, Emotional contagion, Empathy, Feelings, Mood, Motivation, Propositional attitude, Rhetoric, Self actualization, Self control, Self-esteem, Self-Determination Theory, Self motivation, Social cognition, Will, Volition (psychology)

Learning and Memory Autobiographical memory, Autodidacticism, Automaticity, Biofeedback, Cognitive dissonance, Dual-coding theory, Eidetic memory, Emotion and memory, Empiricism, False memory, Feedback, Feedback loop, Free association, Heuristic, Hyperthymesia, Hypnosis, Hypothesis, Imitation, Inquiry, Knowledge management, Language acquisition, Long-term memory, Memory and aging, Memory inhibition, Memory-prediction framework, Method of loci, Mnemonics, Neurofeedback, Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), Observation, Part-list cueing effect, Pattern recognition, Question, Reading, Recognition, Recollection, Scientific method, Self-perception theory, Speed reading, Study Skills, Subvocalization, Transfer of learning, Transfer of training, Visual learning, Working memory

Organizational thinking (thinking by organizations) Attribution theory, Communication, Concept testing, Evaporating Cloud, Fifth discipline, Groupthink, Group synergy, Ideas bank, Interpretation, Learning organization, Metaplan, Operations research, Organizational communication, Rhetoric, Smart mob, Strategic planning, Systems thinking, Theory of Constraints, Think tank, Wisdom of crowds

Philosophy Portal:Philosophy, Philosophy of mind, Systems philosophy, Socratic method, Dialectics, Philosophical analysis

Psychometrics Intelligence quotient, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Personality tests, Scholastic Aptitude Test

Qualities of thought Cogency, Effectiveness, Efficacy, Efficiency, Frugality, Ilities, Promptness, Prudence, Right, Soundness, Validity, Value theory, Wrong

Scholars on methods of thinking Aaron T. Beck, Edward de Bono, Tony Buzan, Noam Chomsky, Albert Ellis, Howard Gardner, Douglas Hofstadter, Marvin Minsky, Baruch Spinoza, Robert Sternberg, Fritz Zwicky.

Thinking theories Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Santiago theory of cognition, Molecular Cellular Cognition

Thinking Abductive reasoning, Abstract thinking, Analogy, Attitude, Calculation, Categorization, Cognition, Cognitive restructuring, Cognitive space, Cognitive style, Common sense, Consciousness, Concept, Conjecture, Concrete concepts, Convergent and divergent production, Critical thinking, Deductive reasoning, Definition, Divergent thinking, Estimation, Evaluation, Explanation, Gestalt psychology, Heuristics, Historical thinking, Holistic, Hypothesis, Idea, Identification (information), Inductive reasoning, Inference, Instinct, Intelligence, Intelligence amplification, Intentionality, Introspection, Intuition (knowledge), Knowledge management, Language, Lateral thinking, Linguistics, Logic, Logical argument, Logical assertion, LogoVisual thinking, Meaning (linguistics), Meaning (non-linguistic), Meaning (semiotics), Mental calculation, Mental function, Metacognition, Mind's eye, Mindset, Multiple intelligences, Morphological Analysis, Multitasking, Nonlinear, Pattern matching, Personality, Picture thinking, Prediction, Premise (argument), Problem finding, Problem shaping, Problem solving, Proposition, Rationality, Reason, Reasoning, Reasoning event, Self-reflection, Sapience, Semantic network, Semantics, Semiosis, Semiotics, Six Thinking Hats, Speech act, Somatosensory, Stream of consciousness, Syllogism, Synectics, Systems intelligence, Systems thinking, Thinkabout, Thinking, Thought act, Thinking Maps, Thinking Processes, Thought experiment, TRIZ, Visual thinking, Working memory, Writing

Thinking fallacies Cognitive bias, Cognitive distortion, Deductive fallacy, Double bind, Error, Fallacy, False dilemma, Fallacies of definition, Field restriction, Formal fallacy, Inductive fallacy, Informal fallacy, List of fallacies, Logical fallacy, Mistake, Paradox, Rhetoric, Target fixation

Thinking Barriers Pseudodementia,

Thinking-related fields Cognitive psychology, Cognitive science, Cognitive ergonomics, Neuroscience, Operations research, Philosophy of mind, Psychology

Thinking tools Argument map, Abstract syntax tree, Block diagram, Cognitive map, Cognitive architecture, Comparison chart, Concept map, Conceptual graph, data flow diagram, Existential graph, Flowchart, Gantt chart, Idea map, Ishikawa diagram, Mind mapping, Drawing, Diagrams, Knowledge visualization, matrices, Tables, Questions, Task analysis, Theories, Venn diagram.

Thought process organization correlation

Other Genius, High IQ society, Mensa, Nobel Prize, Philomath, Polymath, Pulitzer Prize



Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.

Benjamin Franklin

From Clarissa Explains It All: (Clarissa, to the Audience)...

The more I think about it, the more I think I should think about it some more.

Adam Robinson, founder of The Princeton Review:

No one bothered to teach you the most important academic skill: how to learn. Your teachers (and perhaps you) assumed that the ability to learn in a school setting was a natural gift -- either you were born with the knack or you weren't. This belief is entirely wrong. Learning is a natural ability, but learning in school is another matter. If school were structured in a way that better conformed to how you learn naturally, you wouldn't need me or anyone else telling you how to learn.

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