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ELEMENT 2: THE ACTION PATTERNS

Each thinking style is comprised of a specific pattern of actions, which are applied within each of the categories during the reasoning process. These "action patterns" are comprised of a combination of two "action components" (repeating and varying). Each of these components is of two sorts. The action of repeating (R) is performed in either a "simple" (sR) or "complex" (cR) manner. The action of varying (V) is performed either "randomly" (rV) or "deliberately" (dV).

Syntactical Arrangements of the Action Components into Action Patterns

  • (dV) Deliberate Varying--may use (sV) to initiate new relationship

  • (cR) Complex Replication--will use (dV) and (sR) in service to a goal

  • (sR) Simple Replication only

  • (sV) Simple Variation only


Patterns of actions (or action patterns) can be said to comprise particular sequence, order, or arrangement of the action components (varying and repeating). However, action patterns do not happen on paper; they occur inside our heads when we apply them to a situation for some purpose. So, a thinking pattern is actually a pattern of mental actions used for the purpose of making decisions of quality, priority and method (producing or problem-solving).  It often happens that someone uses one pattern of action components for deciding one sort of issue and uses a different pattern of action components for the others.  For example, many people rely upon complex replication for acts of qualifying (deciding what matters; what is worth doing; what is beautiful, necessary, or true) and then use the component of simple replication for setting priorities and producing outcomes.

The pattern of actions you use for making each of these sorts of decisions (quality; priority and method) produces particular consequences as a result decisions about what to select and what to reject as options.

This means that, for example, if you use a pattern of actions for making decisions that relies solely upon simple replication, you will produce consequences that match whatever pattern, procedure, experience or system you are following. In other words, both the method you use and the outcome you get will be highly predictable. You will select what is familiar and matches what you have in mind; you will reject what is unfamiliar or does not match what you have in mind.

On the other hand, if you use complex variation for each of these sorts of decisions, then the consequences you produce will not match any pattern; procedure; experience or system because you will not have followed any of these. Both the method you use and the outcome you get will be highly original and unpredictable. So you will select and make relationships among what is (or can be made to be) unique and unfamiliar and you will reject possibilities that seem familiar, ordinary, or clichéd.

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