ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Different Thinking Styles

Updated on January 25, 2022
Spirit Whisperer profile image

Xavier is a teacher and Hypno-Psychotherapist in Private Practice in the Isle of Man since 2005.


Favourite Thinking Style

I have been a teacher for over thirty five years and it was only towards the end of my first ten years that I learned that some people think in pictures, some in sound and others in feelings. That isn't to say we don't do a bit of each but we each have our own favourite way of thinking. I wish someone had told me this when I was doing my teacher training as it would have saved me a lot of heart ache both inside and outside of the classroom.

Getting Through to Someone

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and it was as if the person you were talking to was speaking a different language? Have you ever felt that there is no getting through to this person? I think we have all had the experience and felt the frustration of not being understood. Well there is a reason for this and that is the person you are trying to get through to has probably got a different thinking style to yours.

The three styles of thinking that have been identified are Visual (pictures), Aural (sounds) and Kinaesthetic (feelings). If you think in pictures then you would have liked your teacher to have drawn more diagrams when explaining something. If you think more in sound then all you wanted was to be told and you probably found the pictures a distraction. If you thought with feelings then you would have wanted to learn by touching the things you were being taught.

Thinking Style and Learning

Most teachers tend to think visually or aurally and that is why the students who also think visually or aurally tend to do better academically in school. The children who think kinaesthetically are often the trouble makers and the ones who tend to fail academically. They are the least understood because few teachers can speak their language. They tend to think they are not as clever as everyone else and never realise that there is absolutely nothing wrong with them. They just need a teacher with the same thinking style to teach them.

How to Check Thinking Style

There is a very simple test you can perform to check how you predominantly think and it involves eye movement. Simply ask a question that requires the child to remember something and note the eye movement. If the eyes look up when thinking then the child is more than likely a visual thinker. If the eyes look to the ears then the child is probably an aural thinker. If the child looks downwards then you can bet the child is a kinaesthetic thinker.

This simple test will explain why perhaps you have not been able to get through to your spouse so easily all these years. There are also indicators in the words people use to communicate. e.g. In order to convey understanding, a visual person might say “I see” and an aural person may say “I hear you.” Being aware of how other people think will help you to choose your words and expression to suit them so that you are better understood and more able to build rapport.

Slow Learners or Ineffective Communication

As a teacher I could never understand why only a fraction of the class understood what I had said though everyone in the room definitely spoke the same language. Even after explaining the same thing a number of times there were always students who just didn't get it. The easy way out would have been to label those children as slow and that is what often happens. It was only years later when I realised that speaking the same language wasn't enough to be an effective teacher I had to also think the same language. It seems so obvious to me now but it wasn't obvious to me back then. I am sure there are many teachers who still have not yet discovered that their thinking may not match the thinking of the children in front of them and it is not that they are bad teachers or the children are lacking in intelligence but that seeing, hearing and feeling are very different languages in the world of thought.

New Way of Matching Teachers and Students

Instead of children being put in classes based on test scores I would much prefer to see children who are failing and losing confidence to be placed in classes with teachers who think the same language.

Children rise and fall to the expectations of their parents and teachers. Sometimes the labels we place on our children do not belong to them and are based on information that we have falsely interpreted.

Were you falsely labelled as a child? Have you ever falsely labelled a child? What can you do to correct the false labelling of our children and educate teachers and parents to be aware of the different styles of thinking and how thinking styles can affect learning?

Video giving examples of VAK learning styles

© 2011 Xavier Nathan


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)