Visual Thinkers Ignore Stuff

My suspicions have finally been proved: people thinking visually do it by ignoring more stuff! I’ve always thought that people who always wants to draw a diagram about everything are missing all the important stuff. But now it’s been proved!

Via BoingBoing.

Advertisements

4 Responses

  1. Being a visual thinker myself I did notice a few words which I think is important (and contradict your assumptions) πŸ˜‰

    “…they’re better at ignoring unimportant things”

    /martin

  2. Ha, you got me! I think I should have included in my post some indication that my opinion wasn’t completely seriously intended. πŸ˜‰

    But in fact, I believe that visual thinkers really *do* skip important information sometimes, but in the same way, nonvisual thinkers (including me) sometimes don’t see the obvious because we didn’t draw a picture of it. I think we can gain a lot by letting people with the two thinking styles work together. As long as they can accept the differences themselves, of course.

  3. The cue is ‘important’. As a visual/verbal thinker myself, my mistakes tend to arise from having ignored e.g. a major stakeholder or usage scenario (for software architectures). Which, again, visualizations tend to be useful aids in identifying — ‘hey, isn’t there a gap here?’.

    [Visual/verbal? I’ve realized I understand a phenomenon better once I’ve drawn a picture, or tried to explain it to some innocent bystander or just a brick wall, or, preferably, both! If you see strangely chalked diagrams on brick walls, I may have been around…]

    Anyway, I’d contend that it is vital for our sanity and rationality to ignore most of what is going on all the time. That’s one of the hypotheses about what differentiates autist ‘idiots savants’… But perhaps IT isn’t the best environment for sanity: how many of us can claim to have *no* traits which might be autistic indicators? ‘Attention to detail’ is fast becoming a popular HR slogan for IT hiring!

    I’m somewhat surprised you didn’t capitalize on the surmised link between being scattered and being artistic. πŸ™‚

  4. >I’ve realized I understand a phenomenon
    >better once I’ve drawn a picture,
    So do I, but I thought it was because I’m *not* a visual thinker!

    >Anyway, I’d contend that it is vital for
    >our sanity and rationality to ignore most
    >of what is going on all the time.
    Yep, I agree. The hard thing is to ignore the right things. And still I’m not convinced that thinking visually is the most efficient way of doing that. I think I’m going to classify myself as a “conceptual” thinker from now on. That should subsume “visual” thinking, right?

    >how many of us can claim to have *no*
    >traits which might be autistic indicators?
    πŸ™‚

    >I’m somewhat surprised you didn’t
    >capitalize on the surmised link between
    >being scattered and being artistic. πŸ™‚
    Well, there’s definitely a link between mental illness and creativity http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/children_of_bipolar_parents_score_higher_on_creativity_test_9247 so the link between being scattered and artistic also isn’t that improbable, I think! πŸ™‚

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: