The neuropsychological construct of abstract reasoning refers to an individual’s ability to recognize patterns and relationships of theoretical or intangible ideas. Abstract reasoning is contrary to concrete reasoning whereby an individual recognizes patterns in information obtained through the immediate senses. When thinking abstractly, an individual must be able to identify rules and apply those rules to information without the aid of empirical help or personal experience.
Abstract reasoning is most closely related to rational thought as opposed to empirical thought. While using deductive reasoning, a purely rational thinker does not look to determine the accuracy of a premise, but seeks only to understand the relationship between the premises.
Premise 1: Egypt is located in South America.
Premise 2: The Sphinx lies in Egypt.
References and Readings
- Goldstein, G. (2004). Abstract reasoning and problem solving in adults. In M. Hersen (Ed.), Comprehensive handbook of psychological assessment, Intellectual and neuropsychological assessment (Vol. 1, pp. 293–308). Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar