INABILITY TO UNDERSTAND ABSTRACT CONCEPTS

  • Abstract thinking is a level of thinking about things that is removed from the facts of the “here and now”, and from specific examples of the things or concepts being thought about.
  • Abstract thinkers are able to reflect on events and ideas, and on attributes and relationships separate from the objects that have those attributes or share those relationships. For example:
    • a concrete thinker can think about this particular dog; a more abstract thinker can think about dogs in general.
    • a concrete thinker can think about this dog on this rug; a more abstract thinker can think about spatial relations, like “on”
    • a concrete thinker can see that this ball is big; a more abstract thinker can think about size in general
    • a concrete thinker can count three cookies; a more abstract thinker can think about numbers
    • a concrete thinker can recognize that John likes Betty; a more abstract thinker can reflect on emotions, like affection.       
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