AskDefine | Define thinking

Dictionary Definition

thinking adj : endowed with the capacity to reason [syn: intelligent, reasoning(a), thinking(a)] n : the process of thinking (especially thinking carefully); "thinking always made him frown"; "she paused for thought" [syn: thought, cerebration, intellection, mentation]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. Gerund of think.
    What is your thinking on this subject?


  1. present participle of think
    I'm thinking abount inventing a new perpetual-motion machine.

Extensive Definition

Thought and thinking are mental forms and processes, respectively ("thought" is both.) Thinking allows beings to model the world and to deal with it effectively according to their objectives, plans, ends and desires. Words referring to similar concepts and processes include cognition, sentience, consciousness, idea, and imagination.
Thinking involves the cerebral manipulation of information, as when we form concepts, engage in problem solving, reason and make decisions.
Thinking is a higher cognitive function and the analysis of thinking processes is part of cognitive psychology.

Basic process

The basic mechanics of the human brain cells reflect a process of pattern matching or rather recognition. In a "moment of reflection", new situations and new experiences are judged against recalled ones and judgements are made. In order to make these judgements, the intellect maintains present experience and sorts relevant past experience. It does this while keeping present and past experience distinct and separate. The intellect can mix, match, merge, sift, and sort concepts, perceptions, and experience. This process is called reasoning. Logic is the science of reasoning. The awareness of this process of reasoning is access consciousness (see philosopher Ned Block).

Aids to thinking

  1. Use of models, symbols, diagrams and pictures.
  2. Use of abstraction to simplify the effort of thinking.
  3. Use of metasyntactic variables to simplify the effort of naming.
  4. Use of iteration and recursion to converge on a concept.
  5. Limitation of attention to aid concentration and focus on a concept. Use of peace and quiet to aid concentration.
  6. Goal setting and goal revision. Simply letting the concept percolate in the subconscious, and waiting for the concept to re-surface.
  7. Talking with like-minded people. Resorting to communication with others, if this is allowed.
  8. Working backward from the goal.
  9. Desire for learning.
  10. Always be objective.


  1. Self-delusions: inability to confront relevant issues (roadblocks).
  2. Prejudice can lead to flawed thinking


  • Eric Baum (2004). What is Thought, Chapter Two: The Mind is a Computer Program. MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-02548-5
thinking in Arabic: فكر
thinking in Catalan: Pensament
thinking in German: Denken
thinking in Estonian: Mõtlemine
thinking in Spanish: Pensamiento (mente)
thinking in Esperanto: Pensado
thinking in Persian: فكر
thinking in French: Pensée
thinking in Galician: Pensamento
thinking in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Pensamento
thinking in Indonesian: Pikiran
thinking in Italian: Pensiero
thinking in Icelandic: Hugsun
thinking in Hebrew: חשיבה
thinking in Latin: Cogitatio
thinking in Latvian: Domāšana
thinking in Lithuanian: Mintis
thinking in Hungarian: Szellem
thinking in Macedonian: Мисла
thinking in Dutch: Denken
thinking in Norwegian: Tenke
thinking in Japanese: 思考
thinking in Korean: 생각
thinking in Polish: Myślenie
thinking in Portuguese: Pensamento
thinking in Russian: Мышление (психология)
thinking in Albanian: Mendimi
thinking in Simple English: Thought
thinking in Serbian: Размишљање
thinking in Finnish: Ajattelu
thinking in Swedish: Tänkande
thinking in Turkish: Düşünce
thinking in Ukrainian: Думка
thinking in Yiddish: טראכטן
thinking in Chinese: 思维

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abstract thought, act of thought, assessment, assumption, attitude, belief, brainwork, cerebral, cerebration, climate of opinion, cogitation, cogitative, cognitive, common belief, community sentiment, conceit, concentrating, concentrative, concept, conception, conceptive, conceptual, conceptualization, conceptualized, conclusion, consensus gentium, consideration, contemplating, contemplative, creative thought, deliberating, deliberative, endopsychic, estimate, estimation, ethos, evaluation, excogitating, excogitation, eye, feeling, general belief, headwork, heavy thinking, idea, ideation, ideative, imageless thought, impression, intellection, intellectual, intellectual exercise, intellectualization, intelligent, internal, introspective, judgement, judgment, lights, meditating, meditative, mental, mental act, mental labor, mental process, mentation, mind, museful, musing, mystique, noesis, noetic, noological, notion, observation, opinion, outlook, pensive, personal judgment, philosophical, philosophy, phrenic, point of view, pondering, popular belief, position, posture, prehensive, presumption, prevailing belief, psychic, psychologic, public belief, public opinion, ratiocination, ratiocinative, rational, reaction, reasonable, reasoning, reflecting, reflective, ruminant, ruminating, ruminative, sensible, sentiment, serious, sight, sober, speculative, spiritual, stance, straight thinking, subjective, theory, thinking aloud, thinking out, thought, thoughtful, view, viewpoint, way of thinking, wistful
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