What is visual thinking?

It has long been known that the concepts of "watching" and "seeing"only partly are synonyms. Specialists have proved that for the human brain these are different processes: the first is closer to physiology, the second is connected with consciousness. So, several people can look at the same thing, but see it differently. The simplest example is the children's constructor, from which children make up different figures-images. Such creative ability to see not only the eyes, but also the imagination has received a corresponding definition - visual thinking.

visual thinking

What it is?

It is an inborn gift of every person. However, with age, in some people, it becomes aggravated and turns into a profession or way of life; in others, on the contrary, it becomes dull due to various reasons. In psychology, visual thinking is seen as a creative way of solving problems based on figurative modeling. With this phenomenon, we come across every day and everywhere, from presenting the performance of work cases to playing chess.

Opening of Arnheim

The very notion of "visual thinking" belongs toAmerican psychologist Rudolf Arnheim, who opened it in the last century. The essence of it most clearly reveals the example of the scientist, when two boys were asked how much time will be in half an hour, if now on the clock 3:40. the first made a mathematical calculation. By 40 minutes, he added 30. Knowing that in an hour only 60 minutes, 10 of the resulting 70 minutes passed in the next hour. The result was 4:10. The second boy presented a round dial, where half an hour is half a circle. He mentally translated the arrow and got the same result as his predecessor.

Thus, the first boy solved the problemintellectually, using numbers and mathematical knowledge, and the second - visually. An important point here is that in the latter case, not illustrations to thoughts were used, but the very manifestation of thinking was activated.

Investigating the specifics of such a process, Arnheimvisual thinking clearly separated from the usual means of visualization (pictures, objects). The difference lies in the nature of the phenomena, according to the scientist. Thus, the first is not a passive object-image, but a product of the specific activity of the mind, a translator from the language of the image to the language of understanding, the actions and connections of this image with other objects. It was from this position that mnemotechnics arose-memorization based on visual thinking.

Scientific development

The theory of the specifics of thinking, proposedAmerican psychologist, was continued in many studies of modern specialists and became the basis for the development of methods of training and development of mental abilities. A large number of such works are devoted to the problems of schooling. After all, the same information is assimilated by children in different ways. Therefore, one of the tasks of educators is to teach the child to think visually. In this case, it is not just a dry and senseless memorization of rules and texts that occurs, but the formation of their connection with the surrounding reality, the simultaneous correlation of theory with practice. Remembering based on visual thinking is an effective way of training the memory and developing the child's mental and creative abilities.

mnemonics memorization based on visual thinking


Apparently, thinking visually is notsuperpower. This process is easy to train and improve, for which a lot of techniques and methods have been created. The simplest person gets, of course, at school, absorbing the foundations of mnemotechnics. For example, when consonant Russian word-associations are used to memorize foreign words. Or for retelling complex texts apply pictures with key events of the narrative. For each subject there is a system of image-associations that help to assimilate information.

In visual thinking, an important role is assigned toimagination. The first intuitive attempts in its formation are made in childhood, when the children, lying on the grass, try to "decipher" the quaint clouds. Imagination helps to open the deep compartments of the brain and pull out of them, as it seems at first glance, non-logical and unexpected solutions.

memorization based on visual thinking

Where to learn visual thinking?

Today this is not a science or a complexan area of ​​knowledge. In many countries, special trainings and seminars are held, where a person can get acquainted with the basic techniques, get practical lessons, share experiences and achievements with other participants. However, some people resort to independent study. For this there is a lot of thematic literature, manuals, audio courses.

How long will it take?

The question of time largely depends on the age and aspirations of the person himself. However, the mastery of elementary techniques takes literally minutes, the rest is a matter of the frequency of practice.

Experts recommend the use of methodsvisual thinking even at preschool age. However, the purposefulness of this process should be taken into account. At an early age it is used for the qualitative assimilation and use of information, in the adult requirements grow and spread not only to cognitive activity.

Roem's technique

In 2011, the book "How to" sell "itsideas through drawings. " The work belongs to Dan Roem - the largest modern specialist in the field of visual thinking. Today he heads a successful consulting company, helping to solve business problems with the help of ordinary pictures.

swarm of visual thinking

The author of the technique considers visual thinkingas a natural ability of a person to see mentally, thereby revealing within himself ideas that can remain unnoticed and unrealized. This ability helps not only to see them, but also to develop and communicate to other people, that is, to popularize.


Dan Roem visual thinking uses bothtool for solving absolutely any problems. For this, in his opinion, one only needs to portray (draw) an exciting question, using natural gifts of nature: eyes, hands and imagination. In doing so, you should ask yourself general questions: "Who / What?", "Where / When?" And "Why / Why?" Such a drawing for a person becomes a kind of "evacuation plan" or a strategy that allows you to get up to the situation and quickly find the most safe exit from it or, on the contrary, to find a short and successful path to the goal. Thus, a person gradually learns to find and filter information, imagine, supplement and explain it.

It is noteworthy that in mastering the technique, the ability to draw well is not necessary. For a picture of the situation, there is a schematic picture. The main thing is mental visualization.

practice of visual thinking

Sheremetyev's view

A similar issue of successful problem solvingwas discovered by the Russian scientist Konstantin Sheremetyev, who for many years has been engaged in the study of intelligence. He developed a special course on training a certain set of thinking tools (visors), which allow one to creatively approach a person for any life task.

The author represents the intellect (or brain) asa labyrinth with many doors. When a person makes a choice, he makes an important decision, he uses the usual logical thinking. However, such a path does not always lead to success. In this case, there is an alternative option - visual thinking. Sheremetyev calls him the fastest, because through sight a person receives 90% of information.

Author's technique is aimed at trainingmemory - quick memorization with visual images. Also, in the process of learning, a person acquires the skills to perceive and structure a huge flow of information.

visual thinking of Sheremetiev

Advantages of visual thinking

Among the opportunities that visual thinking gives, the main ones are:

  • The ability to see the situation as a whole, which allows a person to quickly make the right decision.
  • Ability to keep in mind a lot of information, while analyzing and structuring it for future use.
  • Ability to see the essence of the problem, filter unnecessary data.
  • Visual thinking is an effective way of knowing the world around us.

The advantages include universalitythis type of mental process. So, Roem visual thinking recommends to apply in all situations: commercial, domestic, educational, creative, etc. Moreover, the techniques of visualization greatly save time and energy, making the selection process entertaining and enjoyable.

Practical use

The practice of visual thinking is subject to every person of conscious age. It is especially popular with people who generate ideas. After all, words are not always enough.

arnheim visual thinking

Currently in the educational and business processcomputer presentations are increasingly being used. They help to see what is not yet available, and to "revive" in the mind information communicated verbally. From this position, frequent users of visual thinking are:

  • Heads of companies. Responsible position requires a responsible approach. Visual thinking in this case helps to find the right and original solutions, quickly make choices.
  • Top managers and business consultants. People of these professions need to process a large amount of information, react correctly to any changes, work vigorously, promptly, offering unique solutions.
  • Athletes. Football players, chess players and all who need a strategy often use visual thinking, predicting the course of the game.
  • Architects and designers. For people of these professions, visual thinking is the most important tool, it is simply not necessary to talk about work.
  • Teachers and lecturers. That lectures and trainings did not turn into drya flood of words, these specialists often use visual aids. But these are not just colorful pictures, but meaningful visualizers, which form certain information connections.
  • Psychologists. Of course, the psychological method can not beignored by the experts themselves. Very often, when consulting a patient, the psychologist asks to imagine the problem mentally, that is, to create an association. It can be the image of a person or an animal, or just an object. Depending on this, a logical chain of causes and effects is built that helps to penetrate the essence of the problem and find its solution.


The influence on children's development is invaluable. Visual thinking, according to the teachers, along with the logical one, must be active in the process of learning and understanding the world, since the use of visual materials in lessons helps to increase the level of knowledge. This method greatly facilitates the work, concentrates the attention of students on the subject, supports interest. Training ceases to be "blind" memorization, but turns into an exciting immersion in the subject and the rapid assimilation of information.

roem visual thinking

As for the business sphere, Roy's visualthinking is not for nothing called the main tool for creating ideas. Thanks to simple schemes and drawing the situation, any problems are solved quickly and sometimes unexpectedly easily. In addition, this approach helps to simplify the task as much as possible, clearly explain it and bring it to the audience. Thus, the team begins to think and act in one direction, without conflicts and awkward moments of misunderstanding.

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