The Abstraction Method of Problem Solving

Everyone has heard the phrase, “losing sight of the forest for the trees.” The idea behind this metaphor is that when you are too close to something, you can get mired in the details and have difficulty focusing on the way those details fit together into a big picture.

During the past 10 years, psychologists Yaacov Trope, Nira Liberman, and their colleagues have provided a lot of evidence for what they call “construal level theory:” The closer you are to an object or event, the more specifically you think about it. While the more distant you are to that object or event, the more abstractly you think about it. This idea has important implications for your creativity. Read more at 99u.com

Cartoonist Saul Steinberg's View of the World from 9th Avenue

Cartoonist Saul Steinberg’s View of the World from 9th Avenue