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Chapter 3 creative thinking

Chapter 3 creative thinking

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Published by: Fadwa Al Mughairbi on Feb 15, 2011
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Chapter 3 Creative Thinking

What is Creativity? Creativity is a cognitive process that leads to new or improved products, performances, or paradigm. It is a quality of thought that allows an individual to generate many ideas, invent new ideas, or recombine existing ideas in a novel fashion. Creativity produces something apart from the ordinary: something remarkable, and something new. Creativity is an action that happens within a domain. Mozart displayed his creativity within the domain of music, Freud in psychology, and Michael Jordan in basketball. All these individuals operated within a particular domain, mastered it, and then pushed it in different directions. Without the domain, their creativity might not exist or be recognized. Mozart, living in a much earlier time or in a different place, probably would not have been able to display his musical talents. Would Michael Jordan be Michael Jordan without basketball?? Creative or divergent thinking has to do with generating ideas, integrating ideas, or seeing things in new ways. Creative thinking complements critical thinking, problem solving and decision making.

There is, however, a difference between being creative and being bizarre. Creativity must have some aesthetic or pragmatic value. Unusual is not the same as creative. The arts are littered with short-term wonders who garnered a little bit of attention by being unusual instead of being creative. Once the oddity wears thin, these artists are quickly forgotten without having contributed to their artistic discipline.

Stages of Creative Process Creativity seldom happens by accident; rather it is purposeful, requiring preparation, hard work, and discipline. The sudden creative insight that inventors and artists sometimes describes is usually the last step in a long thinking process. Thus, creativity is not an event, but a process. Wallas (1926) proposed four stages of the creative process: 1. Preparation: this is the stage where the problem is first perceived and defined, information about the problem is gathered, and ideas are generated. 2. Incubation: here, both the conscious and unconscious mind manipulate the problem and think about possible solutions. New information is related to existing information and think about possible solutions. New information is related to existing information and existing schemata are reorganized to accommodate new information. 3. Illumination: in this stage, the thinker suddenly sees the idea, concept, or solution to the problem.

or phrases related to a specific condition or object. words.4. Expressional Fluency (FE): Ability to rapidly think of and organize words or phrases into meaningful complex ideas under general or more specific cued conditions. Skills of Creativity 1. In contrast to Ideational Fluency. Associational Fluency (FA): A highly specific ability to rapidly produce a series of words or phrases associated in meaning (semantically associated. or solution. Flexibility: The thinker will generate a variety of different approaches (find other ways for an idea to be used. original. For example in suggesting uses for a brick.g.. from building material to weight to missile to source of red powder. Ability to call up ideas. y y y y y 2. The ability to think of a large number of different responses when a given task requires the generation of numerous responses. solved. situation. set of unique visual elements). For example. not quality or response originality is emphasized. Quantity. Quantity is emphasized over quality or uniqueness. Fluency (brainstorming): the thinker will generate the greatest number of ideas without regard to evaluation (add as many ideas as quickly as possible). or orthographic characteristics (independent of word meanings Ideational Fluency (FI): Ability to rapidly produce a series of ideas. Elaboration: the thinker will embellish an original idea (add things to an idea to make it better or more interesting) 4. Requires the production of connected discourse in contrast to the production of isolated words (e. interpretations) to a given topic. Originality: Ability to rapidly produce unusual. divergent.g. or some other common semantic property) when given a word or concept with a restricted area of meaning. Figural Fluency (FF): Ability to rapidly draw or sketch as many things (or elaborations) as possible when presented with a non-meaningful visual stimulus (e. can abandon the usual idea that all squares have to be the same size y y 3. Differs from FI in the requirement to rephrase given ideas rather than generating new ideas. clever. structural. or uncommon responses (expressions. Kinds of Fluency Word Fluency (FW): Ability to rapidly produce isolated words that have specific phonemic. Verification: this is an evaluative stage where the thinker verifies or tests the idea. subject can jump among categories.. concept. . or applied) Kinds of Flexibility Spontaneous Flexibility: Can produce a great variety of ideas. quality rather quantity of production is emphasized. in a problem of forming squares using a minimum number of lines. Adaptive Flexibility: Can generalize requirements of a problem to find a solution. FA FW). The ability to produce different ways of saying much the same thing.

Respectiveness to new ideas: even if you disagree with the idea. 7. Following a new and unique path to a solution. They also need to feel that they will be rewarded for their efforts in their projects. If it pops into your mind. others want money. even if others resist 5. 8. Discipline: Creative process must be done in a structured manner. It is important to encourage individuals and take the positive aspects of any new idea before dismissing it. Discipline is needed to attack a problem within each stage of the model. and all ideas should be given a fair hearing and allowed to develop. . Recognizes the value of ideas: external reinforcement can give motivation needed to face daily problems and stress. Framework for the Creative Problem Solving 1. Accepts ³off the wall´ ideas: tolerate unconventional ideas 3. Do not be afraid to disagree 4. some want fame. Risk taking: Unless you take risks. Curiosity: you need to be curious about your environment to deal with its problems. Do not repress new ideas or thoughts. 4. Conditions for Creativity a. 2. Different people expects different kinds of rewards. Look at problem s from every possible perspective. Presentation of Problem: 1st step is to present the task or the problem to be solved 2. This will keep the creativity flow. This stage may be quite long depending on the task or problem and our knowledge about it. When information are enough we can afford different possible solutions for the problem. then judge the outcome later. Encourages risk taking: it doesn¶t mean to take a career risk. Rewards effort: creativity is motivated by several kinds of circumstances. write it down. Independence: this generates new perspectives in problem solving. Perseverance: It is important to keep working on an idea. Generating of Solutions: we build up or reactivates a store of information relevant to the problem or task. External Factors 1. Internal factors 1. 5. Impulsiveness: don¶t hold back. Encourages open expression of ideas: do not threat people with new ideas 2. The ability to invent unique solutions to problems or to develop innovative methods for situations where a standard operating procedure does not apply. But do generate all the data first. It means that the atmosphere should encourage calculated risk taking. b. Playfulness: do not be afraid to toy with your ideas. Do not be influenced by opinions of others. Provides time for individual efforts: employees need personal time to help them reach goals and solve problems with their own personal creativity. 7. you will never produce anything creative. 6. Provides assistance in developing ideas: even the best ideas should go through revision.or task. 6. Solving problems creatively requires asking a variety of questions 3. it may lead to a new one.

C Combine: Think about combining two or more parts of your probortunity to achieve a different product/process or to enhance synergy. people. By forcing yourself to come up with new ways of working. or to distort it in an unusual way. M Modify/Magnify/Minify: Think about changing part or all of the current situation. Novelty of response: here. The more possibilities the better. P Put to other purposes: Think of how you might be able to put your current solution/ product/process to other purposes. or valuable). 5. time. correct. Typical questions: What happens if I warp or exaggerate a feature or component? What will happen if I modify the process in some way? 5. you are often prompted into an alternative product/process. Decision Making: what will be the decision after stage 4. SCAMPER is an acronym which stands for questions relating to the following: 1. features. or if no reasonable response has been generated?? Strategies of Creative Thinking A. S Substitute: Think about substituting part of your product/process for something else. Validation of Responses: the response possibility is tested for correctness against the knowledge and the relevant criteria (appropriate. 4. products or components can I combine? Where can I build synergy? 3. A Adapt: Think about which parts of the product/process could be adapted to remove the probortunity or think how you could change the nature of the product/process. The stimulus comes from forcing yourself to answer questions which you would not normally pose. Typical questions: What part of the product could I change? And in exchange for what? What if I were to change the characteristics of a component? 4. SCAMPER Technique Developed by Bob Eberle. By looking for something to substitute you can often come up with new ideas.3. useful. The questions direct you to thinking about a probortunity in ways which typically come up with new ideas. Typical questions: What materials. if the response has passed or failed. we generate response possibilities by searching through the available pathways and exploring features of the environment that are relevant to the task at hand. processes. the SCAMPER technique uses a set of directed questions which you answer about your probortunity (problem/opportunity) in order to come up with new ideas. You might think of . materials or people? 2. Typical questions: What can I substitute to make an improvement? What if I swap this for that and see what happens? How can I substitute the place. or think of what you could reuse from somewhere else in order to solve your own probortunity.

Typical questions: What other market could I use this product in? Who or what else might be able to use it? 6. It is best done in small groups led by a recorder who simply lists every idea that is offered by any member of the group. but ultimately unsuitable ideas to be raised and rejected in an equitable and public manner. This often leads you to consider different ways of tackling the probortunity. The first phase generates ideas. R Reverse/Rearrange: Think of what you would do if part of your probortunity/ product/ process worked in reverse or done in a different order. The key to successful brainstorming is to withhold criticism until the group has exhausted its creativity.another way of solving your own probortunity or finding another market for your product. There are some simple ideas for working creatively in groups. participants should eliminate redundant ideas. There are two phases of the activity. Criticism can be very difficult to resist. In order to avoid the embarrassment of being criticized in front of a group. The use of 8«"x 11" paper rather than flip charts allows participants to group ideas before having to agree on category names. or allow interesting. What would you do if you had to do it in reverse? You can use this to see your probortunity from different angles and come up with new ideas. provide the insight of a fresh perspective to an expert. After the uncritical brainstorming. but in most cases. Encouraging all participants to freely offer solutions achieves many ends: it can allay fears that possible solutions have been overlooked. Typical questions: What would happen if I removed a component or part of it? How else would I achieve the solution without the normal way of doing it? 7. The remaining alternatives can then be organized if that serves a purpose. E Eliminate: Think of what might happen if you eliminated various parts of the product/process/probortunity and consider what you might do in that situation. BRAINSTORMING Brain storming is one of the oldest known methods for generating group creativity. but criticism at this point will kill creativity. force the examination of good ideas that have powerful foes. or the brainstorming effort will be a waste of time. people will simply keep their ideas to themselves. A group of people come together and focus on a problem or proposal. As soon as that happens. someone will ignore this prohibition a few minutes after the brainstorming begins. . The recorder or facilitator stress before the brainstorming begins that there will be no criticism of ideas during the brainstorming. An experienced facilitator is useful. the facilitator or recorded must quickly stop the criticism and repeat the prohibition. the second phase evaluates them. and then use preliminary screening criteria to reduce the number of alternatives. B.

To do this. These actions will help you retain the best employees. Synectics The joining together of different and apparently irrelevant elements to solve a problem.__________________________ 6. Accepting the Limitation of Solutions: Compromise ‡ There is no perfection. making a good choice. Sir Isaac Newton wrote his third law of motion: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. D. Then write down the opposite action you could take. Example: let¶s say your organization has to improve its ability to attract and keep the best employees. Newton¶s Third Law In 1687. you can begin to institute the opposite actions.__________________________ 2. and being satisfied with it. whether executives or entry-level. When that happens. we can apply Newton¶s third law to creative problem-solving by working on ways to accomplish an objective that is the opposite of our original goal. an improvement made in one area may detract from other areas. which will help you achieve your real goal. How to Make Good Employees leave 1. Many things prevent us from thinking of solutions in them most direct manner. We have to learn how to view problems with a broad perspective. science must be combined with individual and social values to develop a decision process based on many goals and criteria that are important to numerous constituents. but using Newton¶s Third Law usually unearths a few gems that otherwise would be missed. Could you have obtained the same ideas with the direct approach? Many of the answers would be the same.__________________________ 4. creatively developing alternatives. ‡ .__________________________ Opposite (Real Goal) ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ By generating a list of what you do not want.C. judging the value of these alternatives and their consequences. of course. one way to do this is by using analogical thinking to discover similarities between things that appear dissimilar.____________________ ______ 3. list six ways to make the employees stay away from or leave the organization. implementing it.__________________________ 5. Rather than compile an overdone list of rewards.

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