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Is there a term for this style of thinking?

Is there a term for this style of thinking?



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I have an early grandmother, over the age of eighty. After speaking to numerous family members that lived with her, my question is likely not from a condition caused by her age. It is also not a case of a hearing problem, vision problem, nor is there any factors involved (such as money) which might make somebody act strange - many conversations are benign in nature.

Examples of conversations:

Me: Gosh, this area has become so unsafe. Grandmother: We have a security guard that walks around though, just on our street. Me: Oh, what, really? I never knew. How comes I have not seen him after living here for years?! Grandmother: Yep, keeps us well protected, walking along the flat streeet. Me: Flat street, we live on a hill? Ohhh, you are talking about another house, in another area of London, where you do not even live. Grandmother: -Goes into deadlock confusion state you cannot recover from where she fixates on the security guard despite there not actually being one-

Another example

Me: I went through your emails to tidy them up like you asked, and it seems you have ignored me and sent your credit card number to a fraudster. Grandmother: I lost that card though. Me: What is the number for that card? Grandmother: No idea, I lost it remember? Me: So if you lost the card and do not remember the number, how did you give it to the scammer? Grandmother: -Goes into deadlock ignorance state where she keeps claiming it was lost-

The problem with the examples above, is in each case she convinces herself that this is actually the case, like that there is a security guard and that the card is lost so scammer cannot have it.

I also fear the occasions where she does this, yet I am unaware of the full picture to identify this weird thing she does.

Bizarre conclusions: It might be off topic, but she has a habit of jumping to bizarre conclusions and once again going into a deadlock state. For example, once I called a company to purchase something, and following on from this call my grandmother seemed to believe that from now on all correspondence would happen via telephone instead of receiving letters. I tried to explain, but she went into her deadlock state and said in an autocratic way that from now on all correspondence would happen by telephone. I did ask if she wanted me to call the company back to arrange this, but she was certain that a telephone call from a withheld private number, where I asked a generic question without providing any details meant we would only have telephone correspondence. Honestly, it is like she thinks her car will start to fly because the tires were changed?

Element of stupidity: There is also an element of stupidity. For example, she used to rant almost daily for several months that "the foxes keep knocking over a plant pot in my back garden". However, even when I was outside with her, I could never get her to show me where, which plant pot, or how she even knew if it was a fox… After we got burgled, it turned out someone had been jumping our garden fence, picking up this large ceramic plant pot full of earth that I could not lift nor roll along the ground (so no fox or animal could ever manage this), about 4 meters, flipping it upside down, and then using it to climb onto a flat roof. I was even more disgusted that my grandmother was aware we had noticed smoked cigarettes on that roof, and had grown concern we might be dealing with burglars. She could not make the connection, nor even use her arm to point at a plant pot…

It gets worse. She thinks it is only me that has trouble understanding her, however this is likely because she spends little time around others, and when she does communicate with others they likely do not realise the weird things she does as I explained earlier.

Question: I would be very interested to know whether there is a term for this weird thing she does, and any ways to help manage a relative that talks this way as it creates utter chaos and confusion. Unless I already know the topic inside out, when she does this it slips past me.

Sorry: I was unsure what tags to use and I am new to this field.


As written by Richard Nisbett (2003) in "The Geography of Thought" (p. 27):

"In place of logic, the Chinese developed a type of dialecticism. That is not quite the same as the Hegelian (or Western) dialectic in which thesis is followed by antithesis, which is resolved by synthesis, and which is "agressive" in the sense that the ultimate goal of reasoning is to resolve contradiction. The Chinese dialectic instead uses contradiction to understand relations among objects or events, to transcend or integrate apparent oppositions, or even to embrace clashing but instructive viewpoints. In the Chinese intellectual tradition there is no necessary incompatibility between the belief that A is the case and the belief that not-A is the case. On the contrary, in the spirit of the Tao (道) or yin-yang principle, A can actually imply that not-A is also the case, or at any rate soon will be the case. ("物極必反") Dialectical thoght (Chinese version) is in some ways the opposite of logical thought. It seeks not to decontextualize but to see things in their appropriate contexts: Events do not occur in isolation from other events, but are always embeded in a meaningful whole in which the elements are constantly changing and rearranging themselves. To think about an object or event in isolation and apply abstract rules to it (as in Western intellectual tradition) is to invite extreme and mistaken conclusions. It is the Middle Way that is the goal of reasoning."

Similarly, as written by Kaiping Peng and his colleagues (2006) in "Naive Dialecticism and the Tao of Chinese Thought" (p. 256):

"However, we have to point out that there is a fundamental difference between Chinese naive dialecticism and the commonly understood dialectical thinking in Western thought. In Western intellectual domains, dialectical thinking usually refers to three levels of analysis, including dialectic dynamic at the societal level (e.g., Hegelian or Marxist dialectics (馬克思)), dialectic argumentation at the level of interpersonal discourse, and dialectical integration at intrapsychic level. Importantly, Chinese naive dialecticism is different from all three types of Western dialectical thought. Western dialectical thinking is fundamentally consistent with the laws of formal logic, and aggressive in the sense that contradiction requires synthesis rather than mere acceptance. The key difference is that Chinese naive dialecticism does not regard contradiction as illogical and tends to accept the harmonious unity of opposites. . Western dialectical thougt, particularly the Marxist dialectic, treats contradiction as antagonistic. As Lenin wrote in the Philosophical Notebooks, the unity of opposites is only temporary, transitory, and conditional. Equilibrium and harmony are only temporary conflict, contradiction, and the struggle of opposing tendencies are permanent."

Therefore, Chinese (naive) dialecticism is very different from the commonly known Western dialecticism. (I wish that scholars had coined a different term for Chinese pattern of thought, because Western dialecticism is so ingrained in people's mind when the term dialects is used.) Ironically, Chinese communism follows the Western Marxist dialectic rather than Chinese traditional dialectic. Therefore, "清" "算" "鬥" "爭" (many bad consequences happened in the height of Chinese communism in the name of "struggle of classes") may be blamed on the Western Marxist/Lenin dialecticism rather than Chinese naive dialecticism.

Nisbett, R. E. (2003). The geography of thought: How Asians and Westerners think differently and why. New York: Free Press.

Peng, K., Spencer-Rodgers, J., & Nian, Z. (2006). Naive dialecticism and the Tao of Chinese thought. In U. Kim, K. S. Yang., & K. K. Hwang (Eds.), Indigenous and cultural psychology: Understanding people in context (pp. 247-262). New York: Springer. 15


Thinking vs. Feeling Preference

The Thinking (T) and Feeling (F) preference pair refers to how you make decisions, either by objective logic or subjective feeling. Thinking and Feeling are opposite preferences. A person’s natural tendency toward one will be stronger than the other.

The general population is divided evenly between Thinkers and Feelers. The majority of females are Feelers while the majority of males are Thinkers.

Thinking (T)

Thinking people are objective. They make decisions based on facts. They are ruled by their head instead of their heart. Thinking people judge situations and others based on logic. They value truth over tact and can easily identify flaws. They are critical thinkers and oriented toward problem solving. Thinking does not mean a person is without emotion.

Thinking Characteristics

  • Logical
  • Objective
  • Decides with head
  • Wants truth
  • Rational
  • Impersonal
  • Critical
  • Thick-skinned
  • Firm with people

Thinking Personality Types

Feeling (F)

Feeling people are subjective. They make decisions based on principles and values. They are ruled by their heart instead of their head. Feeling people judge situations and others based on feelings and extenuating circumstances. They seek to please others and want to be appreciated. They value harmony and empathy.

Feeling Characteristics

  • Decides with heart
  • Dislikes conflict
  • Passionate
  • Driven by emotion
  • Gentle
  • Easily hurt
  • Empathetic
  • Caring of others
  • Warm

Feeling Personality Types

Take the Personality Test, return to the Personality Preferences section or jump to another preference by clicking below.

Free Personality Test

Get Your 20-page Report

Learn your preferences, personality type, temperament and more. 3,659,288 tests have been taken so far.


What is Divergent Thinking?

Divergent thinking talks about considering several solutions to a certain problem. It is sometimes referred to as “lateral thinking” which is a term credited to Edward De Bono, a Maltese psychologist, physician, author, and inventor. As one of the leading authorities in creativity, he proposed that problems should be solved through indirect and creative strategies. This mindset is best utilized in inventive tasks such as free writing, creative artwork, mind mapping, and brainstorming.

The characteristics of divergent thinking involve the following:

Ideas are generated in a highly spontaneous manner.

Although an answer has been found, the possibility of finding other answers is still considered.

Concepts are multilayered and involve numerous standpoints.


Comprehension: Meaning and Types | Psychology

Comprehension includes the correct association of meanings with word symbols, the selection of the correct meaning suggested by the context, the organisation and retention of meanings, the ability to reason one’s way through smaller ideas segments, and the ability to grasp, the meaning of a larger unitary idea.

Thorndikc (1971) describes reading comprehension simply as thinking. To comprehenced a pupil needs to understand language patterns, to recognise the structural elements composing a sentence and to perceive the syntactic inter relationship of these elements.

In other words, the pupil must understand syntax. Davis (1944, 1972) early noted that underlying comprehension are two general mental abilities, the ability to remember word meanings and the ability to reason with verbal concepts and hence with words. Comprehension is a thinking process, it is thinking through reading.

As such, it is dependent upon the leaders basic cognitive and intellectual skills, upon their background of experience and upon their language skills. Readers use their thinking and verbal reasoning skills to read for main idea for details, for organisation, for evaluation, and for appreciation.

Reading comprehension must involve an interaction between the readers world knowledge and the incoming messages. Over research investigations of reading comprehension focused on how much a person could remember after reading something.

If the person could correctly answer questions or restate parts of what was read, then it was assumed that comprehension had occurred. Today this concept of reading comprehension has been expanded to include not only how much is remembered but also a persons understanding of what was read.

In order to comprehend prose, the comprehender must obviously have knowledge of language. Linguistics have segregated this knowledge into different levels.

There is a phonemic level visual or acoustic input is recorded into basic speech sounds called phonemes.

There is a lexical levels, which roughly corresponds to words.

There is syntactic level, which includes a set of rules that specify how categories of word, are to be grouped or ordered.

There is a semantic level, which specified how the meanings of sentences are constructed. The meaning of a sentence is not simply the summation of the lexical meanings of the words in the sentences.

Fifth is a pragmatic level, which corresponds to the use of the language in dialogues and social interaction.

Learning to comprehend involves a complex of skills. Various writers have attempted to categorize these into three or four levels. Lanier and Davis (1972) in summarizing comprehension skills, categorize them as literal skills, interpretive skills, critical skills and creative skills.

Types of Comprehension:

1. Literal Comprehension:

Literal comprehension involves the processing of factual explicit stated information Recall or recognition of main ideas, details sequences of events, comparison, character traits, and cause and effect relationship explicitly stated in a story are examples of literal level comprehension tasks.

Recall would require a child to furnish an idea or ideas stated by the experimenter. Recognition on the other hand would require the child to decide whether or not specific information was presented in the story. Recall questions arc usually more difficult to answer than recognition questions. A recall question calls for the student to produce response from remembering what was read.

In contrast recognition questions requires the reader to select a correct answer by recognizing it. We want children to be able to comprehend literal information presented in a story. Because such comprehensions lead to higher levels, they are important for forming representations.

However, we must keep in mind distinction between simple recall of information versus comprehension. If all we measured was children’s literal comprehension, our definition of comprehension as understanding ideas would not be met.

2. Inferential Comprehension:

The inferential comprehension level is when the reader infers meaning that goes beyond explicitly stated information. Similar to literal comprehension, inferential comprehension may be the inferring of main ideas, sequences, details, character traits, and so forth. The major difference is that this information is not explicitly stated. Children have to “read between the lines”, to comprehend at an inferential level.

The readers representation of ideas goes beyond recall of explicit text information. In some instances of inferential comprehension readers would probably elaborate on ideas and in other they might have to abstract them. Also it would seem necessary that these ideas must first be integrated and them used as a basis for making inferences.

Inference requires an integration of the context of a selection which alone can lead to inferences about the material. It involves a combination of conjecture and explanation based on a synthesis of the literal context, personal knowledge, intention, and imagination.

Inference can take the form of either convergent or divergent thoughts convergent thinking is involved in such skills as identifying topic sentences, determining sequences and recalling details, it calls for some commonness of meaning or conveyance between writer and reader.

Convergent inferences cause the reader to come to a specific correct answer or an agreed upon hypotheses that may be verified through the data supplied by the writer. A divergent inference on the other hand, calls for imagination or creative thinking.

It is an inference that does not have to be judged as right or wrong. In divergent thinking the individual develops alternative answer, none of which is necessarily correct but none of which is in-correct either. Divergent thinking is a synonym for creative thinking.


What's your thinking style? This logic test can identify your mental strengths and weaknesses

Your brain is your most valuable tool — you use it every day to solve problems, make decisions, and navigate our complex world. But how well do you really know your own mind? And what kind of thinker are you?

This free, fun quiz will teach you a lot about your own thought patterns. It uses your responses to 21 brain-teasing questions to create a detailed report on your mental characteristics, including:

Which of 16 reasoning styles you use, with a description of your style

Your overall level of rationality relative to the population

Your performance on 4 subscales, including quantitative reasoning and cognitive awareness

Details about your specific strengths and weaknesses

Links to resources that can help you shore up your rationality skills

This entertaining and useful quiz is one of our most popular programs — it's a great way to learn more about how your mind works, or to have fun tackling some tricky, entertaining logic puzzles. Click here to give it a try.


Cognitive style

Cognitive style or thinking style is a concept used in cognitive psychology to describe the way individuals think, perceive and remember information. Cognitive style differs from cognitive ability (or level), the latter being measured by aptitude tests or so-called intelligence tests. There is controversy over the exact meaning of the term "cognitive style" and whether it is a single or multiple dimension of human personality. However it remains a key concept in the areas of education and management. If a pupil has a cognitive style that is similar to that of his/her teacher, the chances are improved that the pupil will have a more positive learning experience (Kirton, 2003). Likewise, team members with similar cognitive styles likely feel more positive about their participation with the team (Kirton, 2003). While matching cognitive styles may make participants feel more comfortable when working with one another, this alone cannot guarantee the success of the outcome.


He is spooning you

His favorite cuddle position could be described as curled up body-to-body. It usually involves having your butt just at the right position… pressed against his manhood. And his hands are free to explore up front.

The first thing he is saying by doing this is that he is very much into you sexually.

If he is able to express his emotions by choosing the right actions in other aspects of your relationship, in addition to cuddling, it’s a clear sign that he feels close to you.


Using the Right Style Makes Your Learning More Efficient

Even if you are out of school, knowing how you learn can still help you lead an efficient life. Now that I&rsquove seen these scores, I can apply a verbal style to solve problems and retain information. I can also go forward knowing that no one in the world learns exactly as I do, and that&rsquos something important to be aware of and respect. I can certainly apply this knowledge in my day-to-day life in my career.

Did your results surprise you? Why or why not?

Even if you assumed you were a verbal learner, and the quiz verified that, are you doing everything you can in your life to learn via that style? After all, just knowing a term doesn&rsquot necessarily equip you to know what to do with it going forward. So let&rsquos dig a little deeper.


Identifying Irrational Thoughts

One of the most common components of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy (CBT) is identifying and answering irrational thoughts. Once you can label and dissect an irrational thought, you take away some of its power. The longer these patterns are allowed to continue, however, the more likely they are to become ingrained, lifelong habits. These habits of thought contribute to development of the hard-to-treat personality disorders that often bedevil bipolar adults.

Problematic thought styles include:

  • Catastrophizing. Seeing only the worst possible outcome in everything. For example, your child might think that because he failed his algebra test he will get an F for the semester, everyone will know he&rsquos stupid, the teacher will hate him, you will ground him, and moreover, he&rsquoll never get into college, and on and on. No matter what soothing words or solutions you try to apply, he&rsquoll insist that there&rsquos no remedy.
  • Minimization. Another side of catastrophizing, this involves minimizing your own good qualities, or refusing to see the good (or bad) qualities of other people or situations. People who minimize may be accused of wearing rose-colored glasses, or of wearing blinders that allow them to see only the worst. If a person fails to meet the minimizer&rsquos high expectations in one way&ndashfor example, by being dishonest on a single occasion&ndashthe minimizer will suddenly write the person off forever, refusing to see any good characteristics that may exist.
  • Grandiosity. Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance or ability. For example, your child may fancy herself the all-time expert at soccer, and act as though everyone else should see and worship her fabulous skill as well. She may think she can run the classroom better than her &ldquostupid&rdquo teacher, or feel that she should be equal in power to her parents or other adults.
  • Personalization. A particularly unfortunate type of grandiosity that presumes you are the center of the universe, causing events for good or ill that truly have little or nothing to do with you. A child might believe his mean thoughts made his mother ill, for example.
  • Magical thinking. Most common in children and adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder, but seen in people with bipolar disorders as well. Magical thinkers come to believe that by doing some sort of ritual they can avoid harm to themselves or others. The ritual may or may not be connected with the perceived harm, and sufferers tend to keep their rituals secret. Children are not always sure what harm the ritual is fending off they may simply report knowing that &ldquosomething bad will happen&rdquo if they don&rsquot touch each slat of the fence or make sure their footsteps end on an even number. Others may come to feel that ritual behavior will bring about some positive event.
  • Leaps in logic. Making seemingly logic-based statements, even though the process that led to the idea was missing obvious steps. Jumping to conclusions, often negative ones. One type of logical leap is assuming that you know what someone else is thinking. For instance, a teenager might assume that everyone at school hates her, or that anyone who is whispering is talking about her. Another common error is assuming that other people will naturally know what you are thinking, leading to great misunderstandings when they don&rsquot seem to grasp what you&rsquore talking about or doing.
  • &ldquoAll or nothing&rdquo thinking. Being unable to see shades of gray in everyday life can lead to major misperceptions and even despair. A person who thinks only in black-and-white terms can&rsquot comprehend small successes. He&rsquos either an abject failure or a complete success, never simply on his way to doing better.
  • Paranoia. In its extreme forms, paranoia slides into the realm of delusion. Many bipolar people experience less severe forms of paranoia because of personalizing events, catastrophizing, or making leaps in logic. A teen with mildly paranoid thoughts might feel that everyone at school is watching and judging him, when in fact he&rsquos barely on their radar screen.
  • Delusional thinking. Most of the other thought styles mentioned above are mildly delusional. Seriously delusional thinking has even less basis in reality, and can include holding persistently strange beliefs. For example, a child may insist that he was kidnapped by aliens, and really believe that it is true.

Not only are these thought styles in error, they&rsquore intensely uncomfortable to the person who uses them&ndashor should we say suffers from them, because no one would deliberately choose to have these anxiety-producing thoughts. When these thoughts emerge in words and deeds, the damage can be even worse. Expressing such ideas alienates friends and family, and can lead to teasing, ostracism, and severe misunderstandings.

Young children in particular don&rsquot have much of a frame of reference when it comes to thinking styles. They may well assume that everyone thinks this way! Older children and teens are usually more self-aware. Unless they&rsquore in an acute depressed, hypomanic, mixed, or manic episode, they may try hard to keep their &ldquoweird&rdquo thoughts under wraps. That&rsquos an exhausting use of mental energy, and makes the sufferer feel terribly alienated.


Characteristics of Counterfactual Thinking

Three types of circumstances make counterfactual thinking likely. First, the most common trigger for counterfactual thoughts is negative emotion or a problematic situation. When people feel bad about a negative outcome, they often ruminate about how that outcome could have been avoided thus, counterfactual thoughts are more common after defeats than victories, failures than successes, and penalties than rewards. Second, counterfactual thoughts are more likely after a “near miss” or an event that almost occurred, because when something almost happens, it seems to invite speculation about alternatives. For example, missing a plane by 2 minutes is likely to spark more thoughts on how one might have caught the plane as compared to missing a plane by a full two2 hours. Third, people also think in “If only… ” terms when they are surprised by an outcome, as when an unexpected result goes against what the person had assumed would happen, thereby drawing attention and causing reflection as to why the outcome occurred.

There are good reasons why negative feelings, near misses, and unexpected outcomes trigger counterfactuals, because in these situations, counterfactuals can be useful for guiding future behavior. When people feel bad about something, this often tells them the situation needs attention. If counterfactuals include information that makes it easier for people to tackle a problem, they might be better prepared in the future. For example, thinking “If only I had studied harder…”after a failed exam helps a person concentrate on studying so as to perform better on future exams. Similarly, focusing on near misses rather than far misses is likely to lead to success in the future because only a small change in behavior should be effective. Finally, by definition, unexpected outcomes indicate a person did not make an accurate prediction about a situation.

Counterfactual thinking appears in children at a very young age, almost as soon as they begin to speak. Developmental psychologists believe that because counterfactual thinking is so closely related to goals, children start to think about alternative courses of action as they become aware of their own wants and desires. Counterfactual thinking also seems to transcend culture. A controversy in the early 1980s centered on whether native Chinese speakers are able to reason counterfactually, given that their language lacks the specific word phrases that indicate “if only.” After some false conclusions were clarified with new research, psychologists had, by the late 1980s, concluded that the ability to imagine alternatives to the past is common to all people, regardless of language or upbringing.


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