Can’t logical thinking keep up? You can try this trick!

When I was a child, when I was cooking, my mother told me to add the right amount of salt every time. However, I don’t know what the right amount is. Now, some people have emphasized to us to improve logic and strengthen thinking. However, we don’t know the specific path.

Many people may have seen Barbara Minto’s book “Pyramid Principles” on the promotion of logic. Many people also report that this book is a bit difficult and can be seen in the clouds.

In fact, it is not that we understand the lack of ability, but it may be that the author suffers from the problem of word count and lacks the example of life. The author elaborates with a professional perspective, but does not consider our knowledge background. In the process of telling the principle of the pyramid, I also try to live the example and make the text easy.

Humans have long recognized the regular classification of things, the brain will automatically organize things in some form, basically, the brain will think that there is some kind of connection between any things happening at the same time, and these things will be Organized according to a certain logical pattern.

For example, the ancients looked at the stars and the stars they saw were not isolated. Instead, they integrated them into a regular whole, such as the Big Dipper and Leo, through their own consciousness.

Because people’s cognitive resources are very limited. It can be argued by the assumptions that have appeared in the past. We take a look at a place and the brain gets more than 1G of information, which is a very large burden for the brain with limited physical capacity.

In the long-term evolution process, the brain has learned how to get better information in the case of lower energy consumption, and slowly likes to classify and organize things, reducing the interference of useless information.

If we break this evolution in the process of transmitting information – incoherent, nonsense. Then it will cause the other party’s brain to generate more information processing burden.

In the process of speaking and writing, no matter how high the reader’s IQ is, the cognitive resources they can use are limited. Some cognitive resources are used to identify and interpret the read vocabulary, and another part is used to find various ideas. The relationship between the remaining resources is used to understand the meaning of the ideas expressed.

Moreover, for each resource allocation, the amount of resources left will be one order of magnitude less. If our language text consumes all the energy of the reader in the first two levels of expression, it is basically difficult for someone to know the specific meaning we want to express.

A complicated statement will make us lose sight of it, for example:

Even if female employees can receive the same salary as the male employees, the situation of female employees may be worse than before – the average income gap between female employees and male employees will not shrink, but will become larger and larger. .
For employers, equal pay for equal work means paying the same pay for the same position or job value.
Using any kind of explanation means driving the employer to take action for its own benefit; or by hiring a male worker to resist restrictive policies.

This passage conveys five kinds of thoughts, but there is no clear logic, which makes people feel very difficult to understand. Because, he does not satisfy the evolutionary instinct of our brain connections and classifications. It is difficult for us to find the same characteristics as the previous information from all the characteristics of the information that is subsequently received. Just as the other side gave us the rubble, we wanted to build the house, but found that the rubble was not composed of the same material, which made it more difficult to build the whole.

The number of concepts and ideas that one can understand at a time is also limited. American psychologist George Miller believes that short-term brain memory can’t accommodate about seven memory items at a time, and some people can remember nine at a time, while others can remember five. The brain is easier to be 3 projects, the easiest one is to remember one.

Although this theory has certain deficiencies, The experimental process lacks an interference paradigm. But it also explains a phenomenon that exists. When the brain finds that there are more than four or five items to process, it begins to classify it into different logical categories for easy memory.

One of the most commonly used in our student days is the braces classification. Classify complex knowledge into the same section and knowledge to form a catalog for us to review. This actually uses the basic idea of ​​the pyramid principle.

Divide more than ten projects into three major items, so that the abstraction of your own thinking is improved, and a tower-like link is generated, which is easier to remember.

The most practical function of the pyramid principle is to reduce the cognitive cost of the audience and increase the conversion rate of the information we want to express. Formally make your logic clearer and more organized.

Now that we know the benefits of using the pyramid principle, how can we better control this tool and let others better receive our information and achieve the purpose of persuasion?

1. Background confession

The previous psychological experiment “Invisible Chimpanzees” has proved that people’s attention is very limited. The brain has a spontaneous filter that filters out and simplifies useless and very familiar knowledge.

If you don’t know the direction of the content at the beginning, you need to spend more energy to get information in multiple directions, which will increase the cognitive cost to understand the useless information and make the audience effective information. The conversion is not improved.

When we explain the background of our content, the other party cognitively reduces the direction of divergence. For example, when we see a group of students in the classroom photos, when asked how many boys are there, we will not pay attention to the color of the table and the blackboard in the classroom.

On the other hand, when we finished reading the photos, we immediately took the photos and asked questions. How many windows in the classroom, most people could not answer. This kind of prior questioning is to automatically filter a lot of information that is not related to the subject through the problem background, thereby reducing the cognitive cost of the audience and improving information conversion.

2. Order explanation


The above basically the same information, which group of the above three groups of information is easier to remember? Which group of information are we more acceptable?

In fact, the process of thinking is actually the reception, processing, integration, storage and expression of information. Through the above examples, we can roughly understand that a clear mindset is actually sorting and regularizing information, thereby reducing the cognitive cost of the audience and allowing the information to be better communicated.

People’s attention is very limited, and the brain likes hierarchical and regular things. In the process of expression, we need to make the expression process have a certain level of association. The expression of the pyramid principle has four sequences.

Deductive order: major premise, minor premise, conclusion.
Time (step) relationship: first, second, third.
Structure (space) relationship: distance, height, size.
Degree relationship: the most important, important, secondary, etc.

The choice of the logical order of that type depends on the analytical process we are blocking. Writing a well-organized logical structure requires us to clearly understand the inner connections of the things that need to be elaborated in the process of conceiving, and thus make the analytical structure more effective.

3. Structural analysis problems

Our general solution to the problem is:

Collect information → describe findings → draw conclusions → propose solutions

However, this solution to the problem is actually very inefficient, and up to 60% of the work of collecting data and analysis is useless. The conclusions drawn are often very vague and not practical. Later, many information consulting companies found that the most effective way is to conduct a structural analysis of the problem before the information is collected.

propose a hypothesis
Design process, sand table deduction
Classification processing, draw conclusions
Get corresponding countermeasures

That is to say, when we are sorting out our own ideas and conceiving the content of problem solving, the first step is not to rush to collect information, but to first put forward the assumptions of the problem, and to seek useful information through hypothesis, thereby reducing the cost of information collection.

For example, when we learn to be inefficient, the first step we should take is to ask questions: what is causing our own inefficiency, horizontal comparison of our own performance in different periods, vertical comparison of recent performance, vertical comparison of others and Do we have the same problem and come up with a kind of feedback. Through the assumptions obtained, go to take information and remedy the measures.

Many changes have been lost without theoretical guidance. A good theory lies in guiding and operability, and the pyramid principle is a theory that effectively solves problems and expressions. We can practice this skill a lot during the process of speaking and writing. I believe that it can have a good effect.