NCERT Class 11 Psychology Thinking

Read and download NCERT Class 11 Psychology Thinking chapter in NCERT book for Class 11 Psychology. You can download latest NCERT eBooks chapter wise in PDF format free from This Psychology textbook for Class 11 is designed by NCERT and is very useful for students. Please also refer to the NCERT solutions for Class 11 Psychology to understand the answers of the exercise questions given at the end of this chapter

NCERT Book for Class 11 Psychology Chapter 8 Thinking

Class 11 Psychology students should refer to the following NCERT Book chapter Chapter 8 Thinking in standard 11. This NCERT Book for Grade 11 Psychology will be very useful for exams and help you to score good marks

Chapter 8 Thinking NCERT Book Class 11



Think for a moment: how many times and in what ways you are using the word  ‘think’ in your day-to-day conversations. Sometimes probably, you use it as a synonym to remember (I can’t think of her name), pay attention (think about it ) or convey uncertainty (I think today my friend will visit me). ‘Think’ has a wide range of meanings which cover a number of psychological processes.

However, in psychology, thinking is a core subject area with an independent existence and a meaning of its own. In this chapter, we will discuss thinking as a mental activity directed at solving a problem, making inferences, judging certain facts, and deciding and choosing between options. Further, the nature and characteristics of creative  thinking, what it involves and how it can be developed will also be discussed. Have you ever seen a small child building a tower with blocks or sand? The child would build a tower, dismantle it, make another one and so on and so forth.

While doing this, the child sometimes talks to herself or himself. The speech would primarily include the steps s/he is following or want to follow (“not this”, “a little small”, “a tree at the back”), evaluation of the design (“nice”). You also might have experienced talking to yourself while solving a problem. Why do we talk while we think? What is the relationship between language and thought? In this chapter, we shall also be discussing the development of language and the relationship between language and thought. Before starting our discussion on thinking, it is necessary to discuss thinking as the base of human cognition.


Thinking is the base of all cognitive activities or processes and is unique to human beings. It involves manipulation and analysis of information received from the environment. For example, while seeing a painting, you are not simply focusing on the colour of the painting or the lines and strokes, rather you are going beyond the given text in interpreting its meaning and you are trying to relate the information to your existing knowledge.

Understanding of the painting involves creation of new meaning that is added to your knowledge. Thinking, therefore, is a higher mental process through which we manipulate and analyse the acquired or existing information. Such manipulation and analysis occur by means of abstracting, reasoning, imagining, problem solving, judging, and decision-making. Thinking is mostly organised and goal directed. All day-to-day activities, ranging from cooking to solving a math problem have a goal.

One desires to reach the goal by planning, recalling the steps that one has already followed in the past if the task is familiar or inferring strategies if the task is new. Thinking is an internal mental process, which can be inferred from overt behaviour. If you see a chess player engrossed in thinking for several minutes before making a move, you cannot observe what he is thinking. You can simply infer what he was thinking or what strategies he was trying to evaluate, from his next move.

Building Blocks of Thought

We already know that thinking relies on knowledge we already possess. Such knowledge is represented either in the form of mental images or words. People usually think by means of mental images or words. Suppose you are travelling by road to reach a place, which you had visited long back. You would try to use the visual representation of the street and other places. On the other hand, when you want to buy a storybook your choice would depend upon your knowledge about different authors, themes, etc. Here, your thinking is based on words or concepts. We shall first discuss mental image and then move on to concepts as the base of human thought.

Mental Image

Suppose, I ask you to imagine a cat sitting on a tree with its tail slightly raised and curved. You would most likely try to form a visual image of the whole situation, something similar to what the girl in the picture is doing (Fig.8.1). Or think of another situation where you are asked to imagine yourself standing in front of the Taj Mahal and describe what you see. While doing this you are actually forming a visual image of the event. You are probably trying to see through your mind’s eye, just like the way you would see a picture. Why is it useful to draw a map while giving directions to someone?

Please refer to attached file for NCERT Class 11 Psychology - Thinking

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