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Logical Thinking: A Learned Mental Process

You have four blocks in front of you, a black one, a red one, a white one and a green one. You must remove two of them. You may not take away the red, the black and the white blocks simultaneously. You may not take away the white, the green and the red ones simultaneously. Which two blocks may be removed? To answer this puzzle you will need to think logically.

Logical thinking is the process in which one uses reasoning consistently to come to a conclusion. Problems or situations that involve logical thinking call for structure, for relationships between facts, and for chains of reasoning that “make sense.”

In his book Brain Building, Dr. Karl Albrecht says that the basis of all logical thinking is sequential thought. This process involves taking the important ideas, facts, and conclusions involved in a problem and arranging them in a chain-like progression that takes on a meaning in and of itself. To think logically is to think in steps.

It has been proven that specific training in logical thinking processes can make people “smarter.” Logical thinking allows a child to reject quick answers, such as “I don't know,” or “this is too difficult,” by empowering them to delve deeper into their thinking processes and understand better the methods used to arrive at a solution and even the solution itself.

Logical thinking is also an important foundational skill of math. “Learning mathematics is a highly sequential process,” says Dr. Albrecht. “If you don't grasp a certain concept, fact, or procedure, you can never hope to grasp others that come later, which depend upon it. For example, to understand fractions you must first understand division. To understand simple equations in algebra requires that you understand fractions. Solving `word problems’ depends on knowing how to set up and manipulate equations, and so on.”

Logical thinking is not a magical process or a matter of genetic endowment, but a learned mental process, he says.

The Compublox program contains two exercises to teach logical thinking. One consists of sequences of blocks that must be completed, which have been carefully graded and gradually become more and more chal­lenging. Watch this video:

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