Thinking as Levels of Cognitive Complexity

  • Ernest McDaniel
  • Chris Lawrence
Part of the Recent Research in Psychology book series (PSYCHOLOGY)

Abstract

Whether or not constructive thought proceeds as a progression of logical sequences is open to question. William James’ (1880) early descriptions of thought processes, particularly higher thought processes, seems consistent with more recent conceptions of creative thought. According to James:

Instead of thoughts of concrete things patiently following one another in a beaten track of habitual suggestion, we have the most abrupt cross-cuts and transitions from one idea to another, the most rarified abstractions and discriminations, the most unheard-of combinations of elements, the subtlest associations of analogy; in a word, we seem suddenly introduced into a seething caldron of ideas, where everything is fizzling and bobbling about in a state of bewildering activity, where partnerships can be joined or loosened in an instant, treadmill routine is unknown, and the unexpected seems the only law…the same premises would not, in the mind of another individual, have engendered just that conclusion; although, when the conclusion is offered to the other individual, he may thoroughly accept and enjoy it, and envy the brilliancy of him to whom it first occurred. (p. 185)

Keywords

Assure Hunt Padding 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernest McDaniel
    • 1
  • Chris Lawrence
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Educational StudiesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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