Business Daily Media

Are you a more holistic or analytic thinker? Take this quiz to find out

  • Written by Andrei Lux, Lecturer in Leadership and Course Coordinator (Management and International Business), Edith Cowan University
Are you a more holistic or analytic thinker? Take this quiz to find out

Left-brain or right-brain? Creative or critical? Analytic or holistic?

We love to divide the world into simple dichotomies. You’ve probably heard that right-brain dominant people are supposed to be more logical, while left-brain people are more creative. But there’s actually no scientific evidence[1] to support that idea.

What we do know, however, is that some of us are more “analytic” while others are more “holistic” in our dominant cognitive approach.

In my latest research[2] with colleagues Steven Grover and Stephen Teo, I have developed a short survey to measure these individual differences in thinking style.

Knowing your own and others’ cognitive style is essential for mutual understanding and informed decisions. Learning how you and those around you process information can help you to become a more effective communicator[3], strategist and leader[4].

Click here to take the Holistic Cognition Quiz and discover your style[5]

Analytic vs holistic style

Analytic thinkers focus on individual objects, assigning them to categories based on their attributes. Holistic thinkers consider the context as a whole, focusing on the relationships between objects.

For example, when asked to describe a dining table, an analytic thinker might say it is made of dark wood and can seat six people. A holistic thinker may instead explain it is a space for getting together and sharing a meal.

While analytic thinkers seek to understand cause and effect by examining the characteristics and motivations of individuals, holistic thinkers examine the wider circumstances and the interactions between people.

Analytic thinkers tend to categorise statements as being true or false. Holistic thinkers often transcend contradictions and find truth in even opposing ideas. Both approaches are valuable, particularly if we acknowledge our cognitive biases and appreciate diverse perspectives as complementing our own.

No, you weren’t born that way

None of us are born as analytic or holistic thinkers. We learn these patterns from our environment. We have access to both analytic and holistic cognitive approaches, but a dominant and socially reinforced preference emerges through our interactions with others.

Think of these thinking styles as sets of cognitive tools to interpret and deal with the challenges of daily life.

Read more: Philosophical toolkit in tow, scholar travels to conflict zones[6]

These tools were developed long ago, based on how people in different cultures interacted with one another and what they believed was important.

The precepts of analytic thinking were formulated in ancient Greece around 200-500BCE, with philosophers such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle seeking to understand the world through logic, inference and the discovery of rules.

The principles of holistic thinking were established in ancient China around the same time. Prominent Chinese philosophers such as Confucius, Mencius and Laozi advanced an understanding of the world based on harmony, balance and the acceptance of inevitable cyclical change.

The concept of yin and yang in Chinese philosophy expresses the way opposing forces may actually be complementary, interconnected and interdependent.
The concept of yin and yang in Chinese philosophy expresses the way opposing forces may actually be complementary, interconnected and interdependent. Shutterstock

These social contexts led to the development of two very different cognitive approaches.

So how come Westerners aren’t all analytic thinkers, and Easterners aren’t all holistic thinkers?

Well, as people have moved between places, jobs and social circles over the past 2000 years these mental toolkits have been picked up, shared and embraced along the way. It’s essentially no different to how potatoes were introduced to the Irish and coffee to Italians in the 16th century.

The result is that there now tends to be more cultural diversity within societies[7] than between them – including in thinking styles.

Read more: What does it mean to think and could a machine ever do it?[8]

Using this quiz

We’ve made the Holistic Cognition Quiz[9] to help you understand your own unique thinking style.

It’s likely to show that you use a mixture of analytic and holistic approaches, with one that’s more dominant. Building self-awareness[10] by better understanding how you think will help you work to your strengths and appreciate the strengths of others.

Authors: Andrei Lux, Lecturer in Leadership and Course Coordinator (Management and International Business), Edith Cowan University

Read more https://theconversation.com/are-you-a-more-holistic-or-analytic-thinker-take-this-quiz-to-find-out-170018

Business Today

Why growing small businesses are rejecting traditional loans to stay afloat

Australian small businesses look for alternatives to fund growth A record number of Australian small businesses are ditching traditional bank loans to fund growth and generate cash flow. “Around 75% of businesses who come ...

The most common mistakes active travellers make that put their lives in danger

PIONEERING scale-up Advanced Mobility Analytics Group (AMAG) is calling for the phasing out of historic methods that rely on crash data for managing pedestrian risk on our roads with more powerful, proactive methods enabled by...

3 in 4 fundraisers have experienced sexual harassment on the job – often because of inappropriate behavior from donors

Sexual harassment is a common workplace hazard for nonprofit fundraisers.fizkes/iStock/Getty Images PlusWhile the #MeToo movement that raised public awareness of sexual harassment is making fewer headlines than it did in 2017 and ...

Cathay Pacific 2021 Sustainability Report

New commitments in carbon neutrality and diversity, and supporting the Hong Kong community during the pandemicThe Cathay Pacific Group has released its annual Sustainable Development Report that addresses its commitment and prog...

Cozycozy, is tackling consumer manipulation in the travel industry

With its user-centric algorithm, Cozycozy fights against the Online Travel Agencies' rampant manipulation of consumers’ choices. In 2019, 112.3 million domestic trips and 11.3 Million international trips were taken by Austral...

Foreign companies exiting Russia echo the pressure campaign against South Africa's racist apartheid system

McDonald's is leaving Russia after three decades of operating there.Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesMcDonald’s provided many Russians with their first taste of capitalism three decades ago. Now, the global fast-f...

Business Daily Media Business Development

Why growing small businesses are rejecting traditional loans to stay afloat

Australian small businesses look for alternatives to fund growth A record number of Australian small businesses are ditching traditional bank loans to fund growth and generate cash flow...

Optipay CEO Angus Sedgwick - avatar Optipay CEO Angus Sedgwick

The most common mistakes active travellers make that put their lives in danger

PIONEERING scale-up Advanced Mobility Analytics Group (AMAG) is calling for the phasing out of historic methods that rely on crash data for managing pedestrian risk on our roads with mor...

Simon Washington, AMAG CEO - avatar Simon Washington, AMAG CEO

Rishi Sunak's £15 billion cost-of-living package and windfall tax: four experts respond

Rishi Sunak, the UK chancellor of the exchequer, has unveiled a £15 billion package of measures to help households with the cost of living, after energy watchdog Ofgem announced it wou...

Jonquil Lowe, Senior Lecturer in Economics and Personal Finance, The Open University - avatar Jonquil Lowe, Senior Lecturer in Economics and Personal Finance, The Open University

the economic tactics that drive Liverpool and Real Madrid

Liverpool against Real Madrid in the Champions League final is a fixture for football fans to savour – two giants battling it out for one of the most prized trophies in the game. And r...

Simon Chadwick, Global Professor of Sport | Director of Eurasian Sport, EM Lyon - avatar Simon Chadwick, Global Professor of Sport | Director of Eurasian Sport, EM Lyon

Cathay Pacific 2021 Sustainability Report

New commitments in carbon neutrality and diversity, and supporting the Hong Kong community during the pandemicThe Cathay Pacific Group has released its annual Sustainable Development Repor...

Business Daily Media - avatar Business Daily Media

Cozycozy, is tackling consumer manipulation in the travel industry

With its user-centric algorithm, Cozycozy fights against the Online Travel Agencies' rampant manipulation of consumers’ choices. In 2019, 112.3 million domestic trips and 11.3 Million i...

Business Daily Media - avatar Business Daily Media



NewsServices.com

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion