Outline of thought

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A chimpanzee thinking.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to thought (thinking):

Thought (also called thinking) – the mental process in which beings form psychological associations and models of the world. Thinking is manipulating information, as when we form concepts, engage in problem solving, reason and make decisions. Thought, the act of thinking, produces thoughts. A thought may be an idea, an image, a sound or even an emotional feeling that arises from the brain.

Nature of thought[edit]

Thought (or thinking) can be described as all of the following:

  • An activity taking place in a:
    • brain – organ that serves as the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate and most invertebrate animals (only a few invertebrates such as sponges, jellyfish, adult sea squirts and starfish do not have a brain). It is the physical structure associated with the mind.
    • computer (see § Machine thought below) – general purpose device that can be programmed to carry out a set of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Since a sequence of operations (an algorithm) can be readily changed, the computer can solve more than one kind of problem.
  • An activity of intelligence – Human intelligence is the intellectual prowess of humans, which is marked by high cognition, motivation, and self-awareness.[3] Through their intelligence, humans possess the cognitive abilities to learn, form concepts, understand, apply logic, and reason, including the capacities to recognize patterns, comprehend ideas, plan, problem solve, make decisions, retaining, and use language to communicate. Intelligence enables humans to experience and think.
    • A type of mental process – something that individuals can do with their minds. Mental processes include perception, memory, thinking, volition, and emotion. Sometimes the term cognitive function is used instead.
  • Thought as a biological adaptation mechanism[4]

Types of thoughts[edit]

Content of thoughts[edit]

Types of thought (thinking)[edit]

Listed below are types of thought, also known as thinking processes.

Animal thought[edit]

Further information: Animal cognition and Animal intelligence

Human thought[edit]

Main article: Human thought

Classifications of thought[edit]

Creative processes[edit]


Main article: Decision-making

Erroneous thinking[edit]

See also: Error and Human error

Emotional intelligence (emotionally based thinking)[edit]

Problem solving[edit]

Main article: Problem solving


Main article: Reasoning

Machine thought[edit]

Organizational thought[edit]

Organizational thought (thinking by organizations)

Aspects of the thinker[edit]

Aspects of the thinker which may affect (help or hamper) his or her thinking:

Properties of thought[edit]

Fields that study thought[edit]

Thought tools and thought research[edit]

History of thinking[edit]

Main article: History of reasoning

Nootropics (cognitive enhancers and smart drugs)[edit]

Main article: Nootropic

Substances that improve mental performance:

Organizational thinking concepts[edit]

Teaching methods and skills[edit]

Main articles: Education and Teaching

Awards related to thinking[edit]

Awards for acts of genius[edit]






Television programs[edit]

Persons associated with thinking[edit]

People notable for their extraordinary ability to think[edit]

Scientists in fields that study thought[edit]

Scholars of thinking[edit]

Related concepts[edit]

Awareness and perception[edit]

Main articles: Awareness and Perception

Learning and memory[edit]

Main articles: Education, Learning, and Memory

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Dictionary.com, "mind": "1. (in a human or other conscious being) the element, part, substance, or process that reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, judges, etc.: the processes of the human mind. 2. Psychology. the totality of conscious and unconscious mental processes and activities. 3. intellect or understanding, as distinguished from the faculties of feeling and willing; intelligence."
  2. ^ Google definition, "mind": "The element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness." [1]
  3. ^ Tirri, Nokelainen. Measuring Multiple Intelligences and Moral Sensitivities in Education. Springer. ISBN 978-94-6091-758-5. 
  4. ^ Danko Nikolić (2014). "Practopoiesis: Or how life fosters a mind. arXiv:1402.5332 [q-bio.NC].". 
  5. ^ "Definition of: Moral Reasoning". Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "Dictionary Search › proportional reasoning - Quizlet". 
  7. ^ "History of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy". National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists. Retrieved March 8, 2011. 

External links[edit]