Latest study suggests that thinking with hands instead of head can actually improve people's performance and assist them in finding solutions to problems in a novel way.

Challenging The Conventional Way Of Thinking With The Head

As a universal understanding, people think and solve problems using their heads. Psychology specialists from Kingston University have challenged the age old idea that thinking can strictly take place in the head.

Through their research, Frédéric Vallée-Tourangeau, Professor of Psychology, and Gaëlle Vallée-Tourangeau, Professor of Organisational Behaviour, are in quest to prove that thinking can be done efficiently with hands and things. The two experts tried to display that by using physical objects and tools while problem solving, one can ignite novel ways of resolving problems.

According to Professor Gaëlle Vallée-Tourangeau, the notion that thinking is only a head's job, is a well-situated delusion and does not reveal how the problems actually get solved in the real world. She explained that using actions of writing or drawing makes one think differently.

Cognitive psychology trains people to view the mind as a computer, but it clearly shows that people actually don't think that way in reality. If they get something to interact with, they start thinking in a diverse way.

Thinking With Hands Vs Thinking With Head

The experiment conducted by the researchers is published in the Science Direct journal Acta Psychologica. It involved 50 participants solving the 17 animal-problems. It required deriving solution of putting 17 animals in four pens in a unique way that each pen holds odd number of animals. The participants were divided into two sets: One set employed electronic tablets and stylus for sketching the solution, while the other set used their hands to construct physical models to find the solution.

The two experts inferred that the participants using their hands to build models were able to find the answer to the problems easily when compared to the ones using tablets.

"We showed with this study that for some types of problem - regardless of an individual's cognitive ability - being able to physical interact with tools gave people a fighting chance of solving it," said Vallée-Tourangeau.

Frédéric Vallée-Tourangeau further stated that opposed to the method of physical handling of tools, the pen and paper method made it difficult for the participants to reach a solution. Thus, It showed how adapting to the real world can actually boost people's performance.

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