What is Thinking? As you are studying in a college, you think about your studies, exams’ results, job and career. Sometimes you think about national economy, politics, poverty, Unemployment, terrorism etc. Most of the time you think about fashion, your outlook, hairstyle etc. If you have some interest in sports, then you also think about cricket, football or hockey. Maybe one of your class fellows thinks about the top position, roll of honour or winning a gold medal or you just think where to go for good pizza or best ice cream? But have you ever thought what the thinking is? What is the process of thinking, how and why it occurs? Let’s try to resolve this matter.
The word “think” has a wide range of meanings but the closest meaning best conveyed is “reason”. Psychologists who study thinking are mainly interested in the mental activity which we use when we try to solve a problem, judge the truth of an assertion or weigh the cost and benefits of an important decision.
“I think therefore I am” a famous quotation by Rene Descartes, indicate the importance and value of thinking. He views that our personal identity depends on the awareness of our own thought processes. Thought can be conceived of as a “language of the brain”.
Human beings have the capacity to think about what was, is, will be, might be and should be. Thinking provides the context for our perception, the purposes for our language and the meaning for our memories. It interprets our existence. It is the thinking that turns violations of moral codes into ‘guilt” stupid deeds into “shame” and achievements into “pride”.
DEFINITION OF THINKING
Thinking is organizing and manipulating information and knowledge. Usually thinking is aimed at achieving some goal or satisfying some purpose. Thinking is the mental activity associated with understanding, processing and communicating knowledge. Study of thinking is the study of. all the higher mental processes.
Cognition It is a general term for all forms of knowing. These include attending, remembering, reasoning, imagining, anticipating, planning, deciding, problem-solving and communicating ideas. Cognition comes from a Latin word meaning to “get to know”. Ulric Neisser (1967) wrote studies of cognition focus on the processes people use to transform, reduce, elaborate, store, recover and use sensory inputs. People use to process and reprocess information, imposing on it and producing knowledge from it.
Cognitive Process Cognition includes processes that mentally represent the world around us, such as classifying and interpreting processes. Cognitive processes refer to the things we do in our head, mental activities or thinking These include selecting information from the environment, modifying information to apply according to the demand of the task.
Information Processing Thinking is considered as part of information processing model. Cognitive processes involve a transformation and manipulation of information that has been encoded and stored in long-term memory. So thinking can also be defined as the manipulation of mental representations, in order to form new representations.
Thinking can also be pleasurable in itself. As Cacioppo and petty (1982) explain that people differ in how much they like to think. Individual differences also show up in the way humans process from the same information. As people wind up different cognitive structures with same raw material and same instructions.
Elements of Thought Thought depends on the memory processes because it occurs on a moment to moment basis; thought can be said to take place in working memory when, like a rehearsal, it requires attention and effort. But thought also depends on long-term memory for most of the information that it manipulates. This information may be organized in different ways as concepts, propositions, mental models, schemas and scripts, words and images. These provide the “raw material” or basic elements of thought. People use these elements in different ways for various kinds of thinking sometimes alone and sometimes in combinations.
Humans are not only information processors, but also information interpreters, ambiguity resolvers, even It is our thoughts in the inner universe of the mind that enables us to form an abstract working model of the outside world and then to use it to improve some aspect of that world. Thinking is the mental activity; the study of mental processes and structure is cognitive psychology. Cognitive psychologists investigate the ways people take in, transform and manipulate information.