Concreteness in the context of psychology refers to the degree to which a concept, idea, or thought is based on specific, sensory experiences and is easily perceptible by the senses, such as touch, sight, hearing, taste, or smell. Concreteness is a fundamental concept in cognitive psychology and plays a significant role in various aspects of human cognition and behavior.

Examples of Concreteness

  1. Concrete Objects: Physical objects like a book, chair, or apple are highly concrete concepts because they can be directly perceived through the senses.

  2. Concrete Actions: Activities such as walking, eating, or writing are concrete because they involve observable behaviors.

  3. Concrete Descriptions: Detailed and specific descriptions, such as "a red, ripe strawberry," are concrete as they provide clear sensory information.

  4. Concrete Metaphors: Some metaphors, like "a heavy workload," use concrete language to convey abstract ideas.

Application Areas

Concreteness has various applications and implications in psychology:

  • Communication: Using concrete language in communication can enhance understanding and clarity.

  • Learning and Memory: Concrete examples and experiences are often more memorable and easier to learn.

  • Problem-Solving: When faced with complex problems, breaking them down into concrete steps or components can aid in finding solutions.

  • Emotional Regulation: Expressing emotions concretely can help individuals better understand and manage their feelings.


While concreteness is generally beneficial, there are potential risks:

  • Over-Simplification: Over-reliance on concreteness can lead to oversimplification of complex issues.

  • Creativity Limitation: Excessive focus on concrete thinking may limit creative thinking and abstract reasoning.


To make effective use of concreteness in psychology, consider the following recommendations:

  1. Balance with Abstraction: Balance concrete thinking with abstract thinking when appropriate to promote a comprehensive understanding of concepts.

  2. Communication: Use concrete language when explaining complex ideas to enhance comprehension, but be prepared to delve into abstractions when necessary.

  3. Problem-Solving: Apply concrete thinking when tackling specific tasks within larger problems, but also engage in abstract problem-solving for broader issues.

  4. Emotional Expression: Encourage clients to express their emotions concretely to gain clarity, but also help them explore deeper emotional complexities.

Treatment and Healing

In some cases, individuals may benefit from therapy or interventions to address issues related to concreteness. For example, therapy can help individuals broaden their thinking patterns to include more abstract reasoning when necessary. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) are therapeutic approaches that can be applied to address concreteness-related challenges.

History and Legal Basics

The concept of concreteness has deep roots in psychology and cognitive science, with pioneers like Jean Piaget exploring its role in child development. Legal considerations related to concreteness are not typically addressed in the legal system; rather, they are more relevant in the context of education and accessibility standards.

Examples of Sentences

  • Concreteness is essential for effective communication.

  • The project's success relied on the concreteness of the action plan.

  • The teacher emphasized the importance of concreteness in scientific observations.

  • She excels in concretizing abstract concepts, making them accessible to others.

Similar Things or Synonyms

  • Tangibility
  • Specificity
  • Sensory Perceptibility
  • Physicality


In psychology, concreteness refers to the degree to which a concept or idea is based on specific sensory experiences and is easily perceivable through the senses. It plays a crucial role in various aspects of cognition, communication, and problem-solving. Concreteness is valuable for enhancing understanding, learning, and memory but should be balanced with abstract thinking to address complex issues effectively. While generally beneficial, over-reliance on concreteness can lead to oversimplification and limit creative thinking. Therapy and interventions may help individuals broaden their thinking patterns and achieve a balance between concrete and abstract reasoning. Concreteness has a rich history in psychology and is not typically a subject of legal considerations in the legal system.