What is the Definition of Conceptual Reasoning?
Conceptual reasoning, also known as conceptual thinking, refers to a specific type of thought that involves abstraction and reflection, as well as creative thinking and problem solving. It is a term that encompasses many types of thought, which all relate to thinking in abstract concepts and intuitive ways. Conceptual reasoning has many applications and is referred to in many different fields. Scientists, academics and psychologists are a few of the professionals who deal routinely with different kinds of conceptual reasoning. Conceptual thinkers also use this type of reasoning in their thought processes and in their ideas.
Conceptual reasoning means ways of critical thinking that include problem solving, analyzing, developing new ideas and reflecting on past and present experiences. People sometimes define this kind of reasoning as thinking outside the box. When we use conceptual reasoning, we are willing to see things in a different way and accept that there is not one sole objective truth to how things work. We put aside common beliefs and approach a problem with a fresh mind.
Conceptual Reasoning in Science
One area where conceptual reasoning is particularly relevant is science. Depending on the kind of science, conceptual reasoning solves many problems and creates new ideas and ways of thinking. Scientists have to acknowledge current theories, but often must put them aside to allow their own ideas to emerge. Fields such as medicine, environmental engineering and technology rely heavily on conceptual reasoning for the development of new ways of looking at the world. For example, much of today's scientific thought around environmentally sound energy sources involves conceptual thinking. Biodiesel gas, wind harnessing and solar power all require conceptual reasoning for problem solving.
Conceptual Reasoning in the Humanities
In addition to its concrete uses in the sciences, conceptual reasoning is a major part of studying and working within a vast array of humanities. Artists constantly see reality in new ways and have to be open to creativity and reinvention. When studying literature or history, scholars reflect upon events and think outside conventional frameworks to develop new ideas. New forms of music also spring from the idea of conceptual reasoning and the way it works within abstraction. Using conceptual reasoning allows us to see the big picture in some settings and situations, so day-to-day actions and happenings can be analyzed within decision-making for more abstract thinking and abstract ideas.
Conceptual Reasoning in Psychology
Finally, the ability to use conceptual reasoning plays a role in our psychology. Psychologists use it as a measure of IQ and mental capability. When a person has difficulty with conceptual reasoning, he may have trouble with social interactions, problem solving and learning from mistakes. Competencies are also studied in these conceptual thinking skills when implementing new concepts and using problem-solving skills in reasoning needs.
Soft skills, cognition, communication skills, creative thinking skills, lateral thinking, management skills, mental health, open-mindedness, and strong leadership skills are all able to be analyzed by conceptual reasoning for fellow team members or people in our society. Higher levels of reasoning can show examples of conceptual skills in some people, and these skills can be used as templates for teaching others and for stakeholders in some situations. Cover letters can also prove these needs as a real world example of its application.
Abbey Baker is a writer and teacher at an alternative school in Burlington, Vt., where she specializes in working with students who have learning disabilities. Baker has a Master of Fine Arts in fiction writing and writes short stories. She recently had a short story published in "Eleven Eleven" journal.