Are you a visualizer or conceptualizer?

Ever wondered how your mind processes information? Today, let’s explore two distinct ways of thinking: visualizing and conceptualizing.

This distinction was first made by William Grey Walter back in 1963, and it’s as relevant today as it was then.

To better understand these two ways of thinking, let’s dive into a simple yet revealing experiment called the “Ball on the Table.

Imagine a ball on a table.

Someone walks up and pushes the ball. What happens next?

Think about the color of the ball,

the person who pushed it,

and the table itself.

Now, did you visualize these details before I asked the questions, or did you only consider them when prompted?

Visualizers will likely have immediate answers, often providing extra details they already had in their mind. Conceptualizers, on the other hand, might only consider these specifics when directly asked. Then they will “select” the attributes based on what they know is possible. They grasp the core idea, not the detailed picture.

Why does this matter? Visualizers create vivid mental images, almost like watching a movie in their heads. Conceptualizers, like me, think differently. We focus on the essence of things, linking ideas together in a network of information stored in our minds. We don’t “see” a horse, but we understand what a horse is, its characteristics, and its role in the world.

Understanding these different cognitive styles can illuminate the diversity of human thought. It’s not just about what we think, but how we think. And that’s something worth exploring, don’t you think?

I’d love to hear about your experiences with this experiment. Did it reveal something new about how you or your friends and family think?