Lateral Thinking

Lateral thinking is the deliberate search for alternatives above, around and beyond the obvious, straightforward and logical ones.

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Oxford English Dictionary:

la’ter al think’ing, a way of thinking which seeks the solution to intractable problems through unorthodox methods, or elements which would normally be ignored by logical thinking. Dr Edward de Bono divides thinking into two methods. One he terms ‘vertical thinking’ – that is, using the processes of logic, the historic and traditional method. The other type he calls ‘lateral thinking’ which involves disrupting an apparent sequence and arriving at the solution from another angle. Lateral thinking leads to those simple ideas that are obvious only after they have been thought of.

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12 thoughts on “Lateral Thinking

  1. While I am trained in the logical/vertical approach to thinking, that is not the method I enjoy most. What delights me and excites me is the process I often use that I just learned is called Lateral Thinking. My perception is that this is when ideas bounce around in my head and come at me from all angles, causing some few to label me as “illogical.” No use arguing with them — I know I can be as logical as they are — but I have to admit I enjoy the times when the Bouncing Ball solves the riddle more quickly than their logic, or comes up with a startling new solution. Thanks for providing reading material about this concept! I love studying how the brain works.

  2. I think that I fall into the logical thinker mould but I enjoy lateral thinking. I need to train myself to think laterally all the time rather than just when I’m doing a cryptic crossword.

  3. i have been looking at debono’s book ”the use of lateral thinking”.i believe my engagement with SOT will give me a better grip of lateral thinking

  4. reading other comments on lateral thinking i am glad that there are more and more people who enjoy this kind of thinking! i am not a lone teen anymore!

  5. i like to know about lateral thinking, i have just started, it glues me to the computer. m happy i ve found something really fantastic.

  6. Logical thinking taught in the universities and places of higher learning as opposed to lateral thinking which is discoverd in the universities of life.The poor man with no access to money and educational tools solves his problem by using lateral choices in his day to day existence .The natural reflection of the learned man one may say.

  7. I think that I have been laterally thinking for quite some time but just didn’t label it as such. I’m always letting new ideas and answers pop up at me from unusual sources. I’m interested in multi dimensional thinking where I can tap in to the universal mind.

  8. I have read Lateral Thinking by Dr de Bono several times and it has helped me to be creative in problem solving. Great book!

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