- White Hat: facts, figures, information
- Red Hat: emotions and feelings, hunch and intuition
- Black Hat: devil's advocate, negative judgement
- Yellow Hat: optimism, positivity
- Green Hat: creativity
- Blue Hat: controlling of the hats and thinking, orchestration
The idea of the hat is that a person will put on or be asked to put on a hat and to express a view from that perspective. This gets people thinking in different ways and since it is play-acting people are more willing to express views from under the security of the hat that otherwise may be left unsaid.