OODA Alpha, Part VII: Reorientation

Reorientation, the process of moving from one orientation to the other, relies on analysis and synthesis to generate novel cognitive structures (Osinga, 2007). Specifically, analysis is a reductive process that makes a complex pattern manageable, while synthesis is a constructive process that builds new systems to manage the pattern (Boyd, 1992). Reorientation is the process of learning by improving schemata, or a “repertoire of orientation patterns” (Osinga, 2007, 236) within orientation and has shown specific benefits within education. Reorientation is a critical part of growth throughout life.

Decision is perhaps most important in the context of metacognitive analysis and synthesis, where decision is an indirect way of influencing action in that it alters orientation. Automatization, leading to automaticity, allows a repeated decision making process to be effortlessly performed by orientation (Feldon, 2007a). While freedom from conscious control has been studied in mindless systems (Iles, 1906; Huser, Blatter, & Lipsius, 2000), “learning consists of of scheme construction and automation” (Leahy & Sweller, 2005, 273). That is to say, learning means creating new mental structures within orientation.


Automaticity in the cognitive realm is the result of a large amount of worthwhile practice (Thorndike, 1913; Topping, Samuels, & Paul, 2007). That is, the analysis and synthesis of prior decision making effects orientation. Even in areas which influence education due to genetic heritability, the analysis and synthesis of decision can alter orientation. For instance, students suffering from ADHD (discussed above) can mitigate its harmful effects by monitoring how they spend attention (Harris, et al, 2005).

Reorientation is one part of a cycle of growth an development (Boyd, 1992). Another part, disorientation, is described next.


OODA Alpha, a tdaxp series
1. Abstract
2. Dual Processing Systems
3. The OODA Loop
4. Decision
5. Orientation
6. A Theory of Mind
7. Reorientation
8. Disorientation
9. Education
10. Instruction
11. Student Interaction
12. Creativity
13. Conclusion
14. Bibliography

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