You may not have thought of this before, but the way we think has a huge impact on our lives. Oftentimes we only consider whether or not a person is thinking, not how they are doing it. But this has huge consequences! Classification is an aptitude that answers the question “How do I organize my thoughts so that I solve problems?” Knowing the answer to this question actually helps you succeed and be happy in life.
Welcome to the Thinking Series that explores the many ways of thinking and how they are understood in the career world. Career tests call these ways of thinking by different names, though they may be talking about the same way of thinking. The Highlands Ability Battery, for example, calls them abilities. Other tests call them aptitudes. But both refer to the same phenomenon: the innate skills that determine what kind of career you can excel in.
Today we’ll be looking at what The Highlands Ability Battery calls Classification. The Career Profiler, however, differentiates between a high and low score in Classification. She calls a high score in Classification inductive thinking, and a low score in Classification process thinking.
Classification is the organization of ideas into different classes or compartments. When a person tests low in Classification (process thinking), you can think of them as sitting in front of two boxes and deciding if an object belongs in one or the other.
Low Classification (Process Thinking)
Process thinkers categorize in the following ways:
- ask appropriate questions
- patient with the process of organization
- feel comfortable with structures and rules
- think in a step-by-step way
In the workplace, this kind of person is easy to manage and often works well in a position that uses tried-and-true methods of procedure. Sometimes they can come off as slow thinkers or workers. But this does not mean they are not intelligent. It’s simply that compared to those who score high in Classification, they are perhaps not as noticeable.
High Classification (Inductive Thinkers)
Those scoring high in Classification (inductive thinkers) bring to mind, in juxtaposition to low Classification, a whirlwind. These are the kind of people who “get” things easily and quickly. Inductive thinkers:
- Recognize problems and answers almost immediately
- Are fast thinkers
- quick problem-solvers
- become impatient or bored in slow environments
- Sees pros and cons easily
- Finds commonalities among different things
It’s easy for them to follow a common thread in a sea of information, forming conclusions based on those relationships very quickly. On the negative side, they sometimes have difficulty following through on an idea, or slowing down to learn a process. Unless they have a high vocabulary, they often have trouble
explaining themselves and their reasoning. Without vocabulary or lots of knowledge, they may not know exactly why they are right about something. Like other kinds of reasoning abilities, this aptitude is dependent on knowledge for its proper use. To be able to make the diagnostic leap from symptoms to disease, for example, a doctor first has to know the disease. People with inductive reasoning and little knowledge generally face continuing difficulties.
Our next blog, Concept Organization, looks at a different style of thinking. Like Classification, those who score low and high on this test are called by different names: deductive reasoners vs. decisive reasoners. Then we will look at what happens when these four ways of thinking are paired with each other to make Convergent Thinking.
Why It Matters
You may be thinking, “this is a lot of jargon for some silly personality stuff.” But it’s not just jargon, and it’s not even just personality. These aptitudes determine how you function in the world – in your career, your relationships, your education. They help you understand yourself and the people around you.
If you are in a leadership position in your company, it helps you understand how to get the best work out of your employees. If you’re an employee struggling with your work load or feeling bored and dissatisfied with your job, it helps you understand how to best engage with your work and succeed. All of these things lead to career happiness. The Career Profiler wants to help you achieve success and happiness! Find out what your Convergent Thinking style today by taking The Highlands Ability Battery. All of this information is tied together in Convergent Thinking, the combination of Classification and Concept Organization. It will give you an even more detailed picture of the best job for you.