Creative thinking: features and ways to improve

Creative thinking is the ability to break away from conventional ideation patterns and invent new ways to solve problems or create something using new techniques.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what exactly this type of thinking is, in addition to going over its main differences from conventional thinking. Finally, we will make a list of tips to improve it on a daily basis.

    What is creative thinking?

    As we said before, creative thinking refers to the way information is processed to find original solutions to new challenges that are brought to life. Everyone has the ability to use the potential of creative thinking, but in some individuals this type of psychological process is more hegemonic than in others.

    People with this highly developed type of thinking are not limited to conventional alternatives, they are exploratory. In addition, creative thinking is put to the test whenever we have the need to resolve a situation that we have not experienced before.

    In general, we have to use conventional reasoning that anyone would resort to in a similar situation, which is called the protocol to follow. On the other hand, there is an unimaginable range of new alternatives that we have rarely explored, perhaps because they are too closely related to conventional solutions, perhaps because they work for us and involve less effort. mental.

    But the reality is that the solutions we know well and use over and over again are not always beneficialAnd that’s when people get caught up in seemingly unresolved issues, just because they’re not used to using creative thinking on a daily basis.

    For example: what do we do if our vehicle breaks down halfway and we don’t have what it takes to fix it? So do we let the hours go by without doing anything, just so as not to have the necessary tools? Or can we find a creative solution to the problem?

    Another way to capture creative thinking is artistic expression; people who are easy to create art possess a type of skill that promotes the ability to think creatively.

      The relationship between creative thinking and brain plasticity

      Brain plasticity is one of the most characteristic properties of the brain and has to do with the ability of this set of organs to adapt morphologically and functionally to new situations. In other words, the human brain is constantly changing depending on, among other things, the experiences to which we are exposed.

      What does this have to do with creativity? Brain plasticity allows our thinking to adapt quickly to new problemsEven taking mental paths never taken before, as neurons change their modes of interconnection depending on what is around us, the memories we are recalling at the moment, etc. Therefore, if we are looking for a neurological basis that explains creative thinking, it is the plasticity of the brain.

      How does it differ from conventional thinking?

      In the following lines, we will see how creative thinking differs exactly from conventional or pragmatic thinking.

      1. It does not depend on the relation between one thing and another

      The main difference between creative thinking and logical-pragmatic thinking is that the former it does not depend on linear relations between two or more objects to be able to draw a comparison or an idea.

      When thinking is creative, it relies more on abstract principles, which at first glance would not make much sense, but which, although they do not follow conventional patterns of logic, generate new meanings.

      2. It implies better visualization

      One of the main characteristics of creative thinking is that it requires a greater capacity for visualization than that of structured thinking.

      When we are looking for new alternatives to a (creative) situation, we imagine the possible scenarios that we will get, whereas with logical and structured thinking in general it is not that necessary, given that the subject is already conscious of what will happen if he does things. the classic way.

      3. Psychological exhaustion

      The use of creative resources constantly results in significant wear and tear, Unlike conventional or customary resources, which are based on custom. This is why it is very common for inspiration to come to us “in stages”.

      4. Constant learning process

      Creative thinking it’s about staying in a constant learning process. Creativity comes from the knowledge that the person has acquired and internalized, it is from them that the original ideas are born centered on the needs of the moment. In other words, it does not appear from nothing, but feeds on what is already available in memory in combination with what we think and / or perceive in the here and now.

      Tips to improve this type of cognitive process

      Creative thinking begins to appear in the early stages of development; so the little ones should be encouraged to encourage them to be creative from childhood. The ideal is to offer alternatives so that they can freely express their individual capacities without feeling shy or embarrassed.

      It is important that the education of young people is always balanced between academic and extracurricular level, giving them equal relevance to all activities that students do, inside and outside of classrooms. In this way, the young person grows with greater confidence in his personal abilities.

      The following list contains some useful tips for further developing creative thinking in young people and adults.

      1. Encourage the habit of reading

      Reading is a source of new knowledge and ideas that are embedded in the reader’s mind. Readers will always have where to encourage them to find creative solutions or create their own content based on what they have read before.

      2. Live new experiences

      Getting out of the comfort zone is essential; those who get stuck in the routine do not quite reach their creative potential. The mind works like a parachute, for it to work, you have to open it. The best way is to discover new experiences.

      3. Write down your ideas

      Creativity Usually Happens When We Least Imagine It; in the queue at the bank or supermarket usually come to mind good ideas. It is advisable to write them down on your cell phone or on a sheet of paper in order to better study them.

      4. Find things that you are passionate about

      When we find activities that bring us pleasure, we can be sure that our creative resources will manifest when performing these practices. Passion and creativity go hand in hand, and they come together because we achieve unique things when we love to do something we love.

      5. Participate in group or collective creation process

      Writing a story with four hands, painting a mural, composing a theme for a rock band … are examples of creative processes in which the ideas of some are supported by those of others in a dynamic process. It’s a great way to get used to taking other points of view..

      Bibliographical references:

      • Amabile, TM and Pratt, MG (2016). The dynamic component model of creativity and innovation in organizations: moving forward, making sense. Organizational behavior research. 36: pages 157 to 183.
      • Cropley, DH; Cropley, AJ; Kaufman, JC; et al., eds. (2010). The dark side of the creativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
      • Csikszenmihalyi, M. (1998). Creativity. The flow and psychology of discovery and invention. Paidós. Barcelona.
      • Fuchs, E .; Flügge, G. (2014). Neuroplasticity in adults: over 40 years of research. Neural plasticity, 5: 541870.
      • Marina, JA (1993). Creative intelligence theory. Barcelona: Anagram.
      • Monreal, California (2000). What is creativity. Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva.
      • Park, DC; Huang, CM (2010). Culture connects the brain. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5 (4): pages 391-400.

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