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How to think well: 9 keys to reason clearly

How to think well: 9 keys to reason clearly

November 27, 2021

If something characterizes the contemporary lifestyle (at least in Western countries) it is that the information abounds . With a couple of clicks we are able to access all kinds of data, lessons that only a few decades ago could only be accessed in certain libraries and museums. The technology has convesrtido in our second brain, one with photographic memory.

However, despite the great advantage that computing and the Internet have brought, our way of thinking remains the same as always. Which is bad, because before the bombing of information that we submit to each day is difficult to orient, take a reliable mental route through which to reach a solid conclusion.


Therefore, it will be useful to start taking control of your own decisions and lines of reasoning by helping you with the tips to think well that you can read below .

  • Related article: "The 9 types of thought and their characteristics"

How to think well?

The downside of having the ability to create virtually any imaginable concept is that it is very easy to get lost in that labyrinth of opinions, beliefs and ideas that inhabit our brains. But knowing how to build thought processes that are reliable is not entirely impossible. Keep in mind the keys you will read below.

1. Beware of polysemy

There are many occasions in which the same word changes meaning in the middle of the reasoning that we were following or that another person exposes, without us noticing. This happens a lot, for example, with the etymological fallacy , which consists in pretending that a word means only what its etymology denotes.


For example, if someone says that the marriage between two men should not exist because the etymology of the word indicates the presence of women in this act, it is using two different concepts: traditional conception of marriage and the modern conception of it, mixing them without justification.

  • Maybe you're interested: "The 10 types of logical and argumentative fallacies"

2. Avoid the false dichotomy

There are people who try to give themselves the reason explaining, directly or more or less disguised, that if you do not give them the reason you are part of a despicable group of people to whom almost nobody wants to belong: fascists, fanatics, etc. You must detect this strategy and realize that you do not have to belong to a group of people simply because you share a quality with them (being at odds with your interlocutor, for example).


3. Memorizing is not always the solution

Many times, it is much more useful to remember how you can access a type of information than to memorize the information itself.

  • You may be interested: "Types of memory: how does memory store the human brain?"

4. Set yourself sequential patterns

One of the most important aspects of thinking well is to organize correctly, also in the psychological.

For example, before more or less complex reasoning many people get very nervous thinking about what aspect of the problem to tackle first. Instead of that, forget the time and devote yourself to establishing a small plan with the "milestones" that must go fulfilling your thought until arriving at the goal, the final solution.

To do this, imagine a series of train stops and try to advance along that route, concentrating only on one objective at a time.

5. Do not be afraid of what you may think

One of the aspects of life that most limits our thinking is to be afraid of what others say, since this may cause us to give up thinking about something every time we sense that the course of thought may end up leading to an unpopular opinion .

Retiring in that way is not only frustrating; also, makes us feel insecure when we think about that , since we know that it is not convenient for us to explain issues that can make us enter into uncomfortable contradictions (with our ideas or those of the majority) and, furthermore, we have gone far enough in the reasoning to doubt what we think we know.

6. Detect pseudo-concepts and avoid them

Sometimes, there are certain reflections that include several highly inaccurate concepts, which seem to be there to decorate . You must detect them in the words of other people so as not to waste time wondering what they mean and avoiding falling into their use.

7. Beware of substantiating processes

When we talk about psychology and mental processes, it is very common to fall into the trap of turning into something something that is a process. For example, we would never say that we have arrived home using the movement of the car.

If we take this into account, we are more likely to think better, since we will not treat interaction dynamics as if they were people or elements separated from their context.

8Think that attention is crucial

To think well it is not necessary to take everything into account. Simply, we must start from a situation in which we have detected what is the relevant information and what is not, and focus on the first of these. Otherwise, an overwhelming amount of information would make us do nothing, which is worse than leaving out some of the data linked to the subject we are talking about.

9. Compare things that are really comparable

When comparing two countries, make sure that your history, location, culture and economic situation are comparable, for example. On the other hand, compare the specific with the specific and the general with the general. The effectiveness of a therapy, for example, is not changed by the fact that there is a person more or less who claims to have benefited from it.


5 tips to improve your critical thinking - Samantha Agoos (November 2021).


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