I previously asked about the conceptual links between higher order thinking and inductive reasoning. This question focuses on the potential for improving higher order thinking through practicing inductive reasoning tasks.

For instances, in order to become a good dancer, one must exercise leg muscles, improve coordination, learn how to breathe and so on. Is their an analogy with acquiring higher order thinking skills?

If so, where can one find the main literature on how this process works?

  • $\begingroup$ The field in general is currently skeptical about general-purpose thinking skills. People who appear to reason competently in familiar domains often act like noobs in unfamiliar ones. Even if such skills exist, I doubt that they can be demonstrably improved via any sort of short-term, well-controlled training amenable to experimental manipulation, so I'd be surprised if there were experimental evidence demonstrating the kind of thing you're asking about. But ready to be proven wrong. $\endgroup$
    – baixiwei
    May 1, 2013 at 19:15
  • $\begingroup$ @baixiwei, pls correct me if I’m wrong, in my opinion your answer seem to imply that if we have a complete knowledge about the situation then we arrive to the conclusion/solution much faster/ efficiently. Therefore it’s not about the reasoning ability that make our HOT performance lower but our knowledge about the problem we faced. If I’m not mistaken, Piaget had mentioned this matter before in cognitive development in early childhood. $\endgroup$
    – juliee
    May 2, 2013 at 9:22

1 Answer 1


This is more of a comment than an answer. In fact it's more of an advice.

Higher-order thinking and inductive reasoning have rather vague definitions, in my mind. They seem to also come from different backgrounds. If you don't mind, I think it's easier to approach your situation rather than your question. You might find it refreshing to think of higher-order thinking as a phenomena that occurs under certain conditions; in addition to thinking of it as a muscle (which is implied by your question). Specifically, if you look at higher-order thinking, as you call it, as a state to be entered into, some of the greater facilitators are ability to relax and to change perspectives effectively with emphasis on relaxation. This is within the scope of neurolinguistics, if you'd prefer a contemporary approach; if you don't mind going old school with this, more or less any meditation, should lead to noticeable improvements or autogenic training might float your boat.

I hope this is helpful. I regret not providing any references. Edits are welcome.

  • $\begingroup$ @Mostauskis I think we talk about different Higher-order thinking here, it nothing to do with unconscious/conscious deeper concentration level of thought. $\endgroup$
    – juliee
    Jul 3, 2013 at 4:54
  • $\begingroup$ I beg to differ. Concentration is benefitial in the long run, but my assertion is that calmness fosters, the so-called, higher-order thinking. I realise that this answer is largely unrelated with inductive reasoning; nonetheless, I felt like giving you my two cents. $\endgroup$ Jul 3, 2013 at 12:36

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