Ways Concepts Are Camouflaged – Thinkibility Boost


Thinking with concepts is very powerful, as we earlier showed in the post Conceptual Thinking. Conceptual Thinking is the ability to identify patterns or links between seemingly unrelated issues. This in contrast to concrete thinking – that is a style of thinking in which the individual sees each situation as unique and is unable to generalize from the similarities between situations. 

However, it is not easy to discover concepts. They are camouflaged as categories, reflecting a kind of regularity or commonality.

Conceptual thinking allows us to:

  • clarify complex situations
  • uncover causal and other relationships, or formulate principles
  • integrate fragmented data to make sense of it; draw inferences
  • learn from past experiences; see similarities/analogies with past situations and apply previously acquired knowledge
  • think of creative solutions to new problems (think “outside the box”)
  • address a more general, underlying issue

Basically, some behaviours, things, phenomena and/or expressions refer to a common nominator. In the image below they are represented as a box, which then can be labeled as a “concept”.  In the right column is shown what kind of shapes this can take.

Mindmap presentatie Ideathons

The underlying idea of the Japanese High Speed Trains is the use of electromagnets to lift and propel the trains (The idea behind the idea, the idea at a higher level of abstraction).

The lightest benefits can lead to advanced forms is the most important explanatory principle in biology, and extremely powerful in many other fields.

The underlying pattern of thinking about this conflict is that it is not so much a secular political one, but a religious one.

I try to contrast the color scheme in the room with the rhyme scheme of the texts on the wall. In psychology schemata about oneself are ways ” the world” is interpreted over and over again.

Blogs have in general the same format.

McDonalds has a particular business formula and a different business model than Starbucks.

The algorithm to design a counter is S(n+1) = S(n) + 1

We can label this as misuse of social security, therefore criminal.

The social mechanics aimed for is more cooperation between farmers


The regularity of all forms of the letter A’s is that it always consist of two oppositely leaning diagonal strokes connected by a horizontal crossbar.

The basic paradigm of classical economy is a mechanistic one; in medicine it is thought that only drugs can cure. The medical paradigm exclude curing by mental processes or by intervening in cell biology.

All his stories can be seen as a quest in which he is longing for a lost love. The lifelong  philosophers quest was aimed at answering the question “what is scientific truth?”

Always she falls for bad guys, it’s her script, she is programmed for it. Every time he makes a decision, it is sudden and radical. It’s his psychological script.

The overall approach by the government’s change management is mostly topside down. The approach by Microsoft differs profoundly from the view that Apple has on design.

The advantage of the skill to describe behaviors, things, phenomena and expressions in words of a common denominator is that it makes it much easier to understand and communicate complexities. It is even possible to use concept to predict behaviors, things, phenomena and expressions.

Thinking in concepts makes it also possible to multiply your ideas. In an other blog post we will explore how.

Sometimes, concepts are disastrous stacked.

falling boxes

Examples of applying conceptual thinking:


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