The Hidden Gifts of People Who Think in Pictures, Patterns, and Abstractions
- USD 11.99
- USD 11.99
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE NAUTILUS GOLD AWARD
“A powerful and provocative testament to the diverse coalition of minds we’ll need to face the mounting challenges of the twenty-first century.” —Steve Silberman
“An absolute eye-opener.” —Frans de Waal
A landmark book that reveals, celebrates, and advocates for the special minds and contributions of visual thinkers
A quarter of a century after her memoir, Thinking in Pictures, forever changed how the world understood autism, Temple Grandin— “an anthropologist on Mars,” as Oliver Sacks dubbed her—transforms our awareness of the different ways our brains are wired. Do you have a keen sense of direction, a love of puzzles, the ability to assemble furniture without crying? You are likely a visual thinker.
With her genius for demystifying science, Grandin draws on cutting-edge research to take us inside visual thinking. Visual thinkers constitute a far greater proportion of the population than previously believed, she reveals, and a more varied one, from the photo-realistic “object visualizers” like Grandin herself, with their intuitive knack for design and problem solving, to the abstract, mathematically inclined “visual spatial” thinkers who excel in pattern recognition and systemic thinking. She also makes us understand how a world increasingly geared to the verbal tends to sideline visual thinkers, screening them out at school and passing over them in the workplace. Rather than continuing to waste their singular gifts, driving a collective loss in productivity and innovation, Grandin proposes new approaches to educating, parenting, employing, and collaborating with visual thinkers. In a highly competitive world, this important book helps us see, we need every mind on board.
Animal behaviorist Grandin (Navigating Autism) advocates for visual thinkers in this illuminating survey. Drawing on scientific studies, news articles, and her own experiences, Grandin makes a case that those who think visually have underutilized talents. She begins by describing two types of visual thinkers: object visualizers like her, who "see the world in photo-realistic images" and easily grasp how mechanical devices work, and mathematical spatial visualizers, who see the world in patterns and abstractions. In a "one-size-fits-all" education system geared mainly toward verbal thinkers, the visualizers, Grandin argues, are being neglected and subsequently passed over in the workplace, resulting in a loss of skilled manufacturing workers— "tinkerers"— who don't have an engineering degree but can "build all the mechanically intricate specialized equipment." Grandin highlights how visual thinkers can "home in on design flaws and systems failures" as she analyses the failure at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan and the two Boeing 737 MAX airplane crashes, and shows how they might have been averted were more types of thinkers involved: "Verbal thinkers can overthink things," she writes, "to my mind, as a visual thinker and a designer, it's not that complicated." The result is a resonant testament to thinking one's own way.