I have been told that only a small percentage of the population think literally but I can find no studies or statistics.

This question is not about Lateral thinking (Edward de Bono- solving problems through an indirect and creative approach)

A literal thinker is a person who applies the most literal meaning to words and has difficulty considering figurative uses of words.

  • $\begingroup$ It would be interesting to see how this relates to the way one needs to design differently for the literal or non-literal thinkers. $\endgroup$ – Michael Lai Aug 2 '16 at 7:46
  • $\begingroup$ This should go rather as a comment but I don't think there are any concrete numbers regarding that. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense as well. Lateral thinking is not a physical attribute which can be considered in any general censuses. As far as design goes, I don't think we need to consider such audience as a specific target for the UX design, Obviously unless you are making something especially targetted towards lateral thinkers. But in that case, you don't need to worry about any other user group at the same time. so it doesn't seem like an actual problem to me :) $\endgroup$ – Himanshu Vaishnav Aug 2 '16 at 11:17
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    $\begingroup$ Like many human traits, I suspect that literality is a spectrum that we're all on, so it seems to me that you can't just say that X% of people are "literal thinkers." $\endgroup$ – Ken Mohnkern Aug 2 '16 at 12:35
  • $\begingroup$ I would disagree that literal thinking is a type of measurable characteristic. Depending on the type of question, context, environment, knowledge, etc... people will think literally or otherwise. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Smith Aug 3 '16 at 21:41

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