Here’s a common example. Suppose you were to get a piece of paper, a sheet of notebook paper or even your hand-writing pad and write on it something that interests you. Now, think about what you see when you do this. Do you see the words written in a straight line, with no breaks, or do you see them in a more irregular, “jumbled” way? Is it easier to remember when they are all lined up in an orderly fashion, or do you remember the jumbled mess that they appear to be?
Determining the difference between the two can help you use diagrammatic reasoning on a day-to-day basis. If you find the words written in a neat line, you have to take them at face value. That is, you should not consider the possibility that you might have written them in a jumbled manner because your brain was forced to make that decision. On the other hand, if you see some sort of irregularity in the way they are written, you should at least consider the possibility that there might be some sort of pattern. The point of this example is to show how important it is to be aware of where your brain places information so you can properly make sense of it.
Now here’s where diagrammatic reasoning really comes into its own. We’re always trying to decipher what we are seeing around us. This is especially true when we are trying to figure out what we want or need. As a result, the process becomes a lot easier when everything appears in the same order. Here is a great illustration: If you are going to a new city for work or school, you should take a bus from where you are at to the city’s airport.
At the airport, you will probably need to book a taxi or bus to get to your new city. It will probably be the case that when you arrive, you will need to fill out the appropriate forms and submit them in order to get your ticket. In this case, if you look at the ticket that you filled out carefully, you will see that it is in an orderly fashion, with all of the information in place that order.
However, if you are standing at the bus stop waiting to board your bus to go to your new city, you might be wondering where you got the information from to get to the new city in the first place. Well, if you read the ticket carefully, you might notice that a map is clearly displayed, showing where you are supposed to go. The diagrammatic reasoning here is helping you find the right answers in order to make sense of the information that’s displayed on the ticket.
This is a good example of the ability to apply diagrammatic reasoning in everyday life, but you should note that there are many other types of things you can do to apply this technique. You can learn more by checking out my other articles on this topic.
I hope that this article has been helpful. If you found it to be interesting, check out other articles I’ve written on the topic of diagrammatic reasoning. I’ve included links to some of these resources below. These articles will give you a more in-depth look at this critical thinking tool.