Visual Thinking Book Summary - Visual Thinking Book explained in key points
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Visual Thinking summary

Temple Grandin

The Hidden Gifts of People Who Think in Pictures, Patterns, and Abstractions

4.1 (231 ratings)
20 mins

Brief summary

Visual Thinking by Temple Grandin is a book that dives into the power of visual thinking and how it can be harnessed to enhance creativity, problem-solving, and communication skills.

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    Visual Thinking
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    What is visual thinking?

    Growing up, Temple Grandin believed that everyone thought like her – in pictures. It wasn’t until she was much older that she realized many people think in words. They were verbal thinkers, while she was a visual thinker

    Later still, through the work of researchers like Maria Kozhevnikov, she found out that there are two kinds of visual thinkers: object visualizers, who think in pictures, and spatial visualizers, who see patterns and abstractions. Grandin is an object visualizer – as are many artists, graphic designers, architects, inventors, and mechanical engineers. Conversely, many statisticians, scientists, engineers, and physicists are spatial visualizers.

    Visual thinking is a unique cognitive style that involves creating mental images and associations. It allows individuals to quickly make connections – like having an internal GPS for navigating their surroundings.

    As a person’s visual database grows with age and experience, they become even better problem-solvers. They can make more connections and see solutions more clearly, benefiting from their rich reservoir of visual data.

    Research indicates that the brain's visual and verbal systems develop differently as children grow. And people’s thinking exists on a spectrum; individuals may have a mix of visual and verbal tendencies. This balance varies from person to person and can manifest in different strengths and weaknesses.

    But one thing is certain: visual thinking is a valuable asset, particularly in creative and problem-solving fields. Object visualizers excel in practical tasks, while spatial visualizers thrive in abstract thinking. The merging of these skills, and combining them with verbal thinking, is crucial for innovation.

    So then why is it that society often prioritizes verbal thinking? In the following sections, we’ll find out.

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    What is Visual Thinking about?

    Visual Thinking (2022) offers an authoritative view on different ways of thinking, and how those differences have been crucial to many of our biggest creative advancements. It shows how society tends to be biased toward verbal thinkers – and how visual thinkers, albeit typically underserved in society, bring an array of crucial skills to various domains.

    Visual Thinking Review

    Visual Thinking (2018) by Temple Grandin is a thought-provoking exploration of the power of visual thinking and its applications in various fields. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Grandin's insights into visual thinkers and their unique perspectives shed light on a fascinating aspect of human cognition.
    • The book offers practical strategies for harnessing visual thinking to enhance problem-solving, creativity, and communication skills.
    • With its engaging anecdotes and case studies, the book presents a compelling argument for the immense value of visual thinking, making it a captivating read.

    Who should read Visual Thinking?

    • Anyone curious about autism
    • Artists and creative minds
    • People interested in team-building

    About the Author

    Temple Grandin is an activist, professor, and animal behavior expert. Her work in improving animal welfare and her unique perspective on autism have made her an influential figure in both fields. Her previous books include The Way I See It and Thinking in Pictures.

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    Visual Thinking FAQs 

    What is the main message of Visual Thinking?

    The main message of Visual Thinking is how to tap into the power of visualization to unlock creativity and problem-solving abilities.

    How long does it take to read Visual Thinking?

    The estimated reading time for Visual Thinking is several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just a few minutes.

    Is Visual Thinking a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Visual Thinking is definitely worth reading! It offers practical insights on how to use visualization to enhance thinking and improve overall cognitive abilities.

    Who is the author of Visual Thinking?

    Visual Thinking is written by Temple Grandin.

    What to read after Visual Thinking?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Visual Thinking, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • The Art of Clear Thinking by Hasard Lee
    • Never Enough by Jennifer Breheny Wallace
    • Change Your Questions, Change Your Life by Marilee Adams
    • Think Twice by Michael J. Mauboussin
    • How to Know a Person by David Brooks
    • How Highly Effective People Speak by Peter Andrei
    • The Mind of the Artist by William Todd Schultz