Abstract Thinking

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According to Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, Abstract Thinking is, “the final, most complex stage in the development of cognitive thinking, in which thought is characterized by adaptability, flexibility, and the use of concepts and generalizations. Problem solving is accomplished by drawing logical conclusions from a set of observations, for example, making hypotheses and testing them. This type of thinking is developed by 12 to 15 years of age, usually after some degree of education.” 1

Abstract Thinking consists of the abilities to think symbolically and, “calculate, sort, categorize, conceptualize, draw conclusions, or interpret and condense complex ideas.”2

Read more about the development of Abstract Thinking here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878929314000516

For examples of Abstract vs. Concrete Thinking, visit http://www.projectlearnet.org/tutorials/concrete_vs_abstract_thinking.html

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  1. Mosby’s Medical Dictionary. (2009). 9th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier.
  2. Abstract thinking. (n.d.) In Farlex Partner medical dictionary. Retrieved September 11 2016