1st Edition

Thinking An Experimental and Social Study

By Frederic Bartlett Copyright 1958
    204 Pages
    by Routledge

    First Published in 1958, Thinking Introduces a number of simple experiments which can all be repeated by anybody who is interested. They show that the thinker is all the time trying to fill up gaps in information that is available to him in such a manner that there is a good prospect that all other thinkers, given the same incomplete information, will agree with him. How, and what are the conditions, under which he does this, are considered and illustrated a) for formal thinking; b) for the thinking of the experimental scientist; c) for everyday thinking, and d) for the thinking of the artist.

    A great many of the processes used in thinking have been developed at a level of bodily skill, and long before thinking proper becomes possible at all. At the same time, it becomes clear, as the investigation proceeds, that thinking processes have important characteristics and rules peculiar to themselves. These also vary according to the fields of information in which the thinker operates. There is no doubt that Sir Frederick’s experimental study is a work of first importance and will be useful for scholars and researchers of psychology.

    Preface 1. Thinking as a Form of Skill 2. Thinking within Closed Systems- 1 Interpolation 3. Thinking within Closed Systems-2 Extrapolation 4. Thinking within Closed Systems- 3 Evidence in Disguise 5. Theoretical 6. Adventurous Thinking- 1 Two Transitional Experiments 7. Adventurous Thinking- 2 The Thinking of the Experimental Scientist 8. Adventurous Thinking- 3 First-Hand about Experimental Thinking 9. Adventurous Thinking- 4 Everyday Thinking 10. Adventurous Thinking- 5 The Artists Thinking Index


    Sir Frederic Bartlett was a British psychologist best known for his studies of memory.

    Reviews of the original publication:

    ‘This highly readable little book represents another example of the characteristically British trait of performing interesting psychological research with relatively simple methods, in contrast to the American trend toward increasing dependence on complex mathematical and electronic techniques. It reports the outcome of 25 years of Bartlett's own thinking about thinking and is intended to be neither an exhaustive survey of the field nor the final report of an organized research program… Thinking will undoubtedly be most useful to those who are active in this line of research, as a stimulant for new ideas, although it is sufficiently non-technical for the interested layman.’

    -          William F. Battig, Science, Vol. 128, No. 3334