UNDERSTAND HOW AND WHY PEOPLE THINK AS THEY DO
The activity of thinking is a mental condition that arises when one is faced with a difficulty or a problem. There is another activity which is a close ally to this type of thinking: the type of thinking that does not necessarily involve a problem. Here the consciousness is allowed to wander into its own unconscious desires. This is called "day dreaming" and is usually a natural form of escape from some condition which is not welcomed by the consciousness, or to escape to a stimulus desired by the physical. This phenomenon does not require any real conscious thinking, and day dreams are of little practical value, with the exception of those cases where their recurrence can incite the dreamer to use extra effort to make the day dreams come to fruition.
This is however divorced from the real activity of thinking, which we will now consider. Take one case of an electrical engineer who has to design an electrical installation. He will need to ponder such questions as-the type of materials available, space, the required light output, and the cost. He will consciously think of the job involved, bringing all of his past experience to bear on it. Similarly, a student who is faced with a problem, which is preventing or delaying the completion of an answer, must use his brains to seek a way around difficulties that hinder progress.
A Description of Imagery and Its Uses
We will begin our discussion of this section by comparing two types of mental elements which make up a person’s experience.
The first of these mental elements is the perception of physical objects which exist in the physical world and they may also be perceived by anyone else who should be present. These are definite objects: -a house, trees, road, children, etc.
The second group of mental elements are images of objects not immediately present in the physical world. These are images of past events, absent objects and things that are yet to be created. A memory image produces or resembles something which we have experienced in the past, for example. As we attempt to describe the house which we lived in as a child we may in some sense "see it" although the house may no longer exist. Another form of image is the created or constructed image -the novelist pondering over his next book might "see" his heroine, a person who never existed in the real world.
One associates images with each of the senses, the strongest being the visual image, which is the most intrusive of all images -hence, the saying: "One picture is better than a thousand words" It is difficult to imagine the taste of something without first visualising the object.
It is possible to recall a friend by the tone of voice, and on hearing a similar voice, the friend will be visualised.
If you blindfold someone, and then ask them to taste food or drink, they will associate the sense of taste with the article conjured up in their mind. Hence, in the same way the sense of touch and smell play a part in imagery, which as we have seen, stimulates thinking.
There are three types of action: reflex, instinctive and habitual, which are in contrast to proper thinking. In each of these cases, the required move is made without any pause for thought. If while walking, we hear our own name yelled a simple reflex action would cause us to look around.
If you see a child in the middle of the road with a car approaching, a reflex action would cause you to call the child away from danger. An instinctive action on the other hand would cause you to freeze and remain motionless. Habitual actions are those to which we have become accustomed because of repetition, for example, eating and dressing.
A very good example would be a person waking up at the same time each day.
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