The Role of Quantum Thinking in Critical Thinking
When considering the various thinking modes that you may have previously heard about, titles such as Strategic, Systems, Analytical, and Emotional probably come to mind … Quantum Thinking most likely does not. You might have heard of Creative Thinking though, and if you have, then as an advanced organizer of what I'm about to discuss, you can think of Quantum Thinking as a cousin to Creative Thinking. It's just not identical though.
In earlier articles about the various other modes of thinking that Critical Thinkers use, I have supplied a suggested relationship of these thinking modes to brain theory specialization models, particularly Left/Right Brain Theory and the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI). Below is a graphic depicting those suggested relationships to a metaphorical image of the brain.
Disciples of Creative Thinking will point to the right side of this diagram and say that is the domain of Creative Thinking. Devoted followers of the HBDI model will further dissect it and say that creativity is a preference of the cerebral part of the right hemisphere. In other words, the upper right corner of what I have shown in the above metaphorical image.
The inherent problem I have with aligning Creative Thinking to anywhere on the right side of the diagram is furthering a misconception that creativity is solely a "Right Brained" process, activity, or object. You might have heard or mistakenly believe that Scientists or Technologists are left-brained thinkers while Artists and other "Creative Types" are right-brained thinkers. And that might have led you to believe that the outcome of their work is likewise left or right brained.
Let me ask … If Art is the domain of Creativity, does that mean Creativity is absent in Mathematics? Absent in Computer Programming? Absent in the science lab research for curing Cancer, Alzheimer's, and Diabetes?
No, or right now you wouldn't be reading this from your computer, tablet, or phone because you died from an uncured disease or you are out of hearing range of my wooden drum beats.
My designation for this special form of thinking is Quantum Thinking. It is about looking at something in new and different ways, embracing the concept of multiple realities and taking mental leaps to explore the potential of being and doing something new or different, or both.
It is not just associated with right, left, cerebral, or limbic metaphorical mental models. In Critical Thinking, the role of Quantum Thinking is to enrich all other thinking mode investigations, judgments and outcomes.
Quantum Thinking Tools & Techniques
The following are a few tools and techniques help stimulate Quantum Thinking in problem-solving activities across all modes of thinking. Their purpose is to stimulate your mind to take mental leaps and do what it does best … find interconnected ideas and understandings.
A brainstorming tool used to explore and shape ideas, even those wacky/crazy ones that otherwise we discard during a discussion concerning solving a problem.
Relaxation & Visualization Techniques
Much that blocks our unique inner creativity is our own cluttered mind, so first we must learn to mentally relax.
Drawing, Doodling & Sketching
The spoken or written word at times can cloud or fog a situation because our language is imprecise, and words can have multiple meanings. In words we look for precision and meaning; in pictures and drawings, we look for what the image is telling us.
Metaphorical Force Fitting
This is a process of describing how a specific problem or situation is like something else and forcing your mind to find unseen connections to the analogy.
The test maker asks, “Which of the four items on the right is related to the middle item on the right in the same way that the top item on the left is to the bottom one?” This is an example from old IQ tests used to determine a person’s reasoning skills. It asks you to create an analogy of the relationship. The use of Metaphorical Force Fitting in Critical Thinking works in much the same way.
What do I already assume is going one? What if the opposite were true?
How might I be repeating a past habit or behavior?
Can I trust the information? Should I question the source?
What am I taking for granted?
As a solution, what wouldn't I do? Why not?
What habit am I forming as I confront the situation, even as I think about it?