Concepts can be more abstract or concrete (specific). They can integrate a larger or smaller classification of ideas. I learnt about it thinking about the blocks that distort our perceptions and have a negative influence to generate ideas, the same way as fears, some rules in families or societies, type of language used, labels, stereotypes, lack of resources (time, money), lack of knowledge, lack of motivation, etc.
I usually use the example of a "home". If the challenge is to improve a home, it could happen that we%6a cave, a tent, an igloo, a wooden house, a stone house, a brick house, a block of flats, a skyscraper, etc.
It could be even seen from the point of view of an animal or a virus. Maybe the home could be inside a tree, underground, or inside a body, what can provoke more disruptive innovative ideas than the ones before.
The concept of home could be explored relating it to the functions it performs: protection from weather, family gathering, place to rest, etc.
Relating "home" to different abstraction levels, we could think about:
- My mental space
- My personal space
- My bedroom
- My flat / house
- My borough
- My town
- My province
- My country
- My continent
- My planet (Earth)
- My galaxy
Then, to improve my home could mean to improve the decoration of my bedroom or to reduce pollution in the planet.
Problems can be generalised or made more specific. They can be made bigger or smaller. Any idea can be transformed making it global or concrete. And interesting sentences such as "Think global, act local" or "I am not carrying a brick, I am building a cathedral". We can use deduction or induction. Concept learning.
Concepts can be used to play with words, producing a diplomatic message, a message that evoke different type of emotions, feelings, perception of being more professional. Reading can become pleasurable, engaging, thought provoking, reminding us the importance of being focused and the need for simplicity to transmit a powerful message (USPcopy).