Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Lateral thinking
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Lateral thinking

Lateral thinking is a term invented by Edward de Bono. He defines it as a technique of problem solving by approaching problems indirectly at diverse angles instead of concentrating on one approach at length. For example:
It took two hours for two men to dig a hole five feet deep. How deep would it have been if ten men had dug the hole for two hours?

Simplistically, the answer appears to be 25 feet deep. This is based on a few incorrect assumptions : The correct answer—whatever it is—goes against standard mathematical training. This does not make it incorrect; standard mathematical training does not teach how to apply math to the real world very well, except with finances. Lateral thinking gets answers that are correct (or closer to the truth) because it takes into account more factors and the meanings of the words.

Table of contents
1 Example problems
2 See also
3 Further reading

Example problems

See also

Further reading