Learning how to think logically is an essential skill that can help you efficiently solve problems and respond to situations as they arise. Let’s review what logical thinking is and how to practice it so you can do it regularly!
What is Logical Thinking?
Logical thinking refers to how our brains can determine the difference between right and wrong, and it is what allows us to make appropriate decisions in difficult situations. When you practice logical thinking, you can also improve your problem-solving and reasoning skills.
In other words, those who think logically can establish cause and effect relationships, correlate objects and events, and make decisions with a low occurrence of mistakes. This success can carry throughout several aspects of your life, including school, work, and in your relationships.
There are several types of logic, including the following: formal and informal logic.
Formal logic refers to the type of thinking that is based solely on facts. It requires the use of deductive reasoning so that you can arrive at a formal conclusion. For example, you can use logic to determine that everyone who lives in California resides in the United States since California is part of the U.S.
Informal logic, on the other hand, is much more subjective. We use informal logic every day as part of each interaction we have, and it happens more automatically and can be based on emotions or superstitions.
Inductive logic also falls into this category. This type of thinking uses specific information to make a broader generalization that could be considered probable.
How to Practice Logical Thinking
So, how can you practice thinking logically?
Sometimes logical thinking requires you to take the time to understand the question you are trying to answer. While it could be logical to rush to a conclusion during an emergency, this is not the case in most everyday situations. Take a moment to think rationally first.
Avoid Focusing on Emotion
The first thing that you should do is try to remove your emotions from the equation. The reasoning behind the words you choose or actions you take should be based on facts – not impulse, anger, or other emotional drivers.
Just because you feel a certain way and that leads you to a conclusion does not mean it is a logical one! Strong feelings can reduce your ability to reason and make decisions, so take a deep breath and focus on the facts.
Focus on Results
Another thing you need to do is to focus on the results. As you process your options and decide what to do, consider what the results will be for each action.
You don’t always have to achieve the desired result to think logically – sometimes you have to experiment with your options to find out what will happen, and that is okay! So long as there was solid reasoning behind the path that you chose.
To think logically, you must also ask more questions. Many of us will look at a problem we are facing and stop there – but what if we looked deeper?
This requires moving past the normal who, what, where, when, and why. Ask yourself things such as, what is the precedent for this? Where has this not been the case, and why is it happening now?
The more questions you ask, the better you will define the situation at hand. You’ll be thinking more logically!