8 Real-life Examples Of Concrete Thinking

Concrete thinkers see situations and the world in black and white! There is no grey for them, in many cases.

Concrete thinking is a “literal” reasoning form. Concrete reasoning is centered on your observations, feelings, and experiences in the present.

“Concrete thinking” is the capacity of a person to understand and comprehend non-abstract concepts. It is the mental process that allows us to see and engage with our surroundings. Concrete thinking involves interacting with the tangible because they see the world through the eyes of direct logic. They most benefit from having this skill in their problem-solving career.

In this post, we have shared 10 examples of the applied nature of concrete thinking in various real-life situations.

Is concrete thinking used in real-life? Let’s find out

These are 10 examples of concrete thinking used or applied in real life. This will help you understand concrete thinking and distinguish it from abstract thinking examples.

1. Instruction


Using concrete reasoning when delivering directions to others is equally crucial. This can ensure that the directions are understandable and simple to follow. It’s crucial to use clear language and to be precise when giving directions utilizing concrete thinking. For instance, it is preferable to say “please place the red book on the table” rather than saying “put the books away.

 For another instance, if you ask a job to perform a list of tasks given in a checklist (in exact words such as “bring milk from X place”), he will get the exact task. Though this is a simple example applied everywhere, following an exact step as stated or going through an exact word is an example of individuals doing the opposite.

2. Problem Solving

Problem Solving

No issue can be resolved until it is simplified in some way. One of the most crucial aspects of thinking is the transformation of an abstract problem into a specific, concrete shape. So, concrete-thinking people are practical and have a hands-on approach, which helps them better solve problems. With thinking, they are able to break down problems and make them more manageable. This way, it is simple to use and provides well-informed solutions to tangible problems.

For instance, it can be beneficial to break anything down into more manageable parts when trying to understand it. To understand a complex idea, you might want to divide it into smaller components and concentrate on each one separately.

3. Conscious Awareness

Conscious Awareness

Well, sometimes your mind wanders here and there, thinking of ideas or solutions to problems. You are unable to focus on the work in front of you. Concrete thinking helps you stay in the moment and do the task. As concrete thinkers don’t have conflicting thoughts in mind, they are able to stay more mindful in their daily lives. They are unable to think beyond what is immediately in front of them (and what is being perceived by their senses) and can only be in the “here and now,” which promotes mindfulness.

4. Less emotional conflict

Less emotional conflict

It can be challenging for concrete thinkers to understand how other people feel. This could make it challenging to empathize.

This way, concrete thinking limits empathy and rumination. This helps people reduce overthinking and depression in their daily lives. For instance, during a fight, a person asked themselves, “Why did it happen to me?” Concrete thinkers easily overcome pain because they are present-tense people with experience. Thinking concretely about problems improves resilience and reduces the risk of negative thoughts.

As concrete thinking involves focusing on the here and now, it aids people in recognizing their thoughts and feelings and in comprehending how they are impacting their mood.

5. Use to reduce trauma and depression

Use to reduce trauma and depression

Our abstract thinking is a fundamental result of trauma or depression. Any event that has affected a person leads to irrational conclusions and negative thinking in depression and trauma. These thoughts are formed by generalizing the error and drawing parallels with other failures. It causes severe depression when it continues to happen. To break this cycle, some specialists recommend “concrete thinking training,” which may be used as self-care in which a person might look for a concrete explanation of a recent distressing incident to demonstrate that the depressive abstract explanation is incorrect.

6. Concreteness of concepts

concreteness of concepts

If you ask a concrete person to describe love or pain, he may associate either one with the presence of a loved one or with experiencing biological discomfort. Concrete thinkers are focused on specific rather than abstract ideas. Without question, they take statements about information literally. They accept information verbatim and don’t think twice about it. This is why you find concrete thinking useful in positions of organization and routine that are fixed in nature.

7. Considering facts rather than just the abstract

Considering facts rather than just the abstract

Concrete thinkers do see the world in a different way. Concrete thinkers are often better at solving problems that have a clear and definite answer.

These people are frequently able to view the problem in a distinctively different manner from others who think more abstractly. They are more problem solvers than creative workers. Why?

Concrete thinkers are “to the point” thinkers and come to conclusions and answers faster. They ignore distractions from external factors. They limit themselves to the surface with facts and ignore the multiple meanings of a subject.

8. Games and puzzles

Games and puzzles

Puzzles such as pieces, sudoku games, or crossword puzzles involve concrete thinking. Players also need to think logically and methodically in order to tackle other games.

Just as numbers in sudoku must be found according to specific rules, chess also requires concrete and strategic thinking. Players should consider each choice and its implications carefully. 

It is also a valuable skill for solving puzzles. Being able to think quickly and clearly can help you make quick decisions. It can also help you see patterns that you might not have noticed before.

How do you know if you are a concrete thinker? Signs and characteristics to look out for

You might be a concrete thinker if you continuously find yourself pulled toward the actual, material realm. This demonstrates that you would rather deal with concrete data and facts than with vague abstractions.

You are probably quite realistic and grounded, preferring to stick with what you’re familiar with rather than taking chances.

Because you perceive connections between ideas quickly, you may be frequently good at problem-solving.

A concrete thinker possesses reasoning that is direct, tangible, and clear. They perceive things as they are without including superficial distractions.

Consider a picture of a table with notebooks, books, pens, and a laptop. One might think of it as a study table for someone. However, concrete thinkers will see each piece as a separate entity, such as the picture as a table of contents. 


To summarize, concrete thinking is one of the most effective human abilities for efficiently solving problems.It helps with both professional and personal growth.

Concrete thinkers find practical solutions on the spot when required, without being distracted by abstracts around them. Read more to understand the difference between abstract and concrete thinking. This form of thinking is more rational and logical than creative or critical thinking.

We believe the post has provided a ‘concrete’ understanding of it!

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