Thinking Strategies: vertical vs. horizontal

One of my advisers once drew a vertical line on a white sheet of paper and told me, in research, one needs to think vertically. He then continued, explaining, that graduate students should dig deeper and deeper into the problem until a solution is found. Vertical thinking is an analytical and sequential process and it is widely adopted by researchers in the academia because it finds a solution to the problem faster than the horizontal thinking strategy. In addition, it builds more experienced researchers in the field of investigation.

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12 thoughts on “Thinking Strategies: vertical vs. horizontal

  1. Good post Malik, if both can lead to a solution for specific problem then both can be consider good way of thinking, but it dose matter when to use each of them, if the time is an important factor then the Vertical thinking is the way to go, if time is less important then horizontal thinking is preferable, I also believe that some problems specially in the medical filed the only way to go is the horizontal thinking like searching for a cure for cancer. It just my opinion

    1. Tele,
      You are right one can’t replace the other each has it is usage. Your cancer cure example is a good example of the horizontal thinking and I think this method is being used in the medical research.

  2. wow man this post is too smart for me.. i guess when ever i do a reaserch i just take the diagonal way .. ) which is starting on track and ending god knows wher..

  3. Im left-handed and will speak on behalf of the majority of the left handed community when I say that as southpaw’s we are hard wired to think horizontally and must appreciate vertical thinkers and utilize them.

    1. So this may explain why some people believe that left-handed people are smart because they think horizontally. Not to underestimate vertical thinking but I am more into horizontal thinking I believe it has great potentials.

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