The six thinking hats method in relation to other heuristic methods

Małgorzata Kowalska


The traditional critical thinking processes are reductive, concerned with judging the true value of statements and seeking errors.Another way for the human mind is lateral thinking (literally, sideways thinking). The term was created by Edward De Bono in his book 1967 for a deliberate, systematic creative-thinking process that deliberately looks at challenges from completely different angles. By introducing specific, unconventional thinking techniques, lateral thinking enables thinkers to find novel solutions that would otherwise remain uncovered. Edward de Bono has developed a range of thinking techniques, which emphasis thinking as a learnable skill and deliberate act. One of these is Six Thinking Hats.The premise of the method is that the human brain thinks in a number of distinct ways which can be deliberately challenged, and hence planned for use in a structured way allowing one to develop tactics for thinking about particular issues. De Bono identifies six distinct directions in which the brain can be challenged. In each of these directions the brain will identify and bring into conscious thought certain aspects of issues being considered (e.g. gut instinct, pessimistic judgment, neutral facts). This none of these directions are completely natural ways of thinking, but rather how some of us already represent the results of our thinking. This article presents themain points ofthe Six Thinking Hats and contrastsitwith three otherheuristic methods: traditionalbrainstorming, morphological method andSWOT analysis.


De Bono Edward (1933–), creative workshops, heuristic methods, lateral thinking, Six Thinking Hats, parallel thinking


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Print ISSN: 1643-8175, Online ISSN: 2451-0955, DOI prefix: 10.19197, Principal Contact: