B. Now listen to a lecture. Write down the five major contrasts between vertical and lateral thinking.
Since most of us have been trained to think vertically and believe this way of thinking to be the only effectively form,
it's my initial task to address the contrasts between the vertical and lateral thinking.
First, vertically thinking selects what appears to be the best way of looking at a problem, lateral thinking creates many alternative approaches.
There's an old riddle which could illustrate these different approaches to problem solving.
When you've heard it, try to find the solution.
A man worked in a tall office building.
Each morning, he got into the lift on the ground floor, pressed the lift button to the 11th floor, got out of the lift and walked up to the 16th floor.
At night, he would get into the lift on the 16th floor, and get out on the ground floor. What was the reason for this?
The man was a dwarf and couldn't reach higher than the 11th floor button.
The natural assumption is that the man is normal and the behavior is abnormal. In fact, it is just the opposite.
Let's continue with other contrasts.
When we think vertically, we move in sequential steps, rather like an old man climbing a ladder.
In lateral thinking, it is possible to jump ahead and then fill in the gaps later.
The solution may make sense, even though the pathway is not vertical.
It's certainly true that scientific research is often based on vertical thinking.
However, the discovery of penicillin and its life-saving developments were the results of lateral thinking.
Another difference is that vertical thinking implies that each problem-solving step must be correct before the next can be approached.
Think back to the way learned mathematics: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division.
Were you asked to show the process even when the result was correct?
Indeed mathematics could not function without this discipline.
Lateral thinking differs in that it is possible to generate a range of hypothetical solutions without providing steps of the process.
There are many different ways of reaching the same destination.
However, we must now conclude with further aspects of lateral and vertical thinking.
Let me pose a question: Is the tomato a fruit or a vegetable?
In vertical thinking, we use fixed categories, whereas in lateral thinking, labels may change according to our experience and point of view.
Botanically the tomato is a fruit. Do you expect to find tomatoes in a fruit salad? Most probably not.
But the ubiquitous tomato will appear in every vegetable salad.
Vertical thinking is to examine the obvious approach and exclude what seems to be irrelevant.
Vertical thinking by its nature is in search of one final answer.
Lateral thinkers are aware that there maybe no answer at all.
Finally, and you must be wondering whether you will be to think tomorrow, the differences are fundamental, and the thought processes are distinct.
But never forget that neither process can be discarded.
Both are useful. Both are necessary. They are complementary.
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