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Summary Article: de Bono, Edward (Francis Charles Publius) from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Maltese-born British medical doctor and psychologist whose concept of lateral thinking, first expounded in The Use of Lateral Thinking (1967), involves thinking round a problem rather than tackling it head on. De Bono has worked with business executives from major corporations and advised governments around the world. He was the founder of the International Creative Forum and was awarded the Pioneer Prize in the field of thinking at the International Conference on Thinking at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Massachusetts, in 1994.

From 1976 to 1983 de Bono was lecturer in medicine at Cambridge University, England. He was appointed secretary general of the Supranational International Thinking Organization in 1983 and director of the Cognitive Research Trust in 1991. He has written many books on lateral thinking, including de Bono's Thinking Course (1982), Six Thinking Hats (1985), I Am Right, You Are Wrong (1990), and Teach Your Child To Think (1992).

De Bono was educated at St Edward's College, Cottanera, Malta, and qualified in medicine at the Royal University of Malta. As a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University, England, he gained an honours degree in psychology and physiology and then a DPhil in medicine.

His first important book The Mechanism of the Mind (1969), was an exploration of the neurological basis of human perception, an understanding of the mind as a self-organizing system. He looked at other systems in the human body, such as the circulatory and respiratory systems, and applied the same principles to demonstrate the technical functions of the human brain. His work anticipated the work of future mathematicians on the link between chaos theory, non-linear, and self-organizing systems.

De Bono then turned his attention to psychology, publishing self-help books, including Teaching Thinking (1976), to demonstrate how creative and lateral thinking could generate new approaches to problem solving. He identified three types of thinking: traditional or vertical thinking, lateral thinking, and parallel thinking.

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de Bono, Edward (Francis Charles Publius)

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