Definition: Vertical Thinking is is a type of approach to problems that usually involves one being selective, analytical, and sequential. It could be said that it is the opposite of lateral thinking. Unlike lateral thinking that involves using added intuition, risk taking, and imagination through unconscious and subconscious processes, vertical thinking consists of using more of a conscious approach via rational assessment in order to take in information or make decisions. This type of thinking encourages individuals to employ a sequential approach to solving problems. Vertical thinkers prefer to rely on external data and facts in order avoid failure or counterfactual thinking.
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