We explain what creative thinking is, its characteristics, examples and phases of the creative process. In addition, critical thinking.
What is creative thinking?
When we talk about creative thinking, we refer to a form of reasoning typical of human beings, which is able to process and reformulate the information in original , flexible, plastic and fluid ways , or to apply it to the solution of a problem with the which initially did not look compatible.
In other words, creative thinking revolves around the inventive capacity of the human being and his imagination , which have always allowed the development of tools, different ways of thinking , survival strategies or even asking complex questions. Well, creative thinking doesn’t just have to do with aesthetics.
In this way, creativity is not a talent available to a few, but that every human being is in one way or another capable of doing so , although some exercise more often than others, or more easily, creative thinking.
Thus, a person can be very creative in a certain area of his life and not be in many others. In addition, it can be promoted and developed through various techniques , such as lateral thinking , Brainstorming, DaVinci Technique, etc.
Characteristics of creative thinking
Although creative thinking tends to be original, that is, to generate a new mental content, always part of something previous. Even the most creative minds require an abundant supply of information , since the more data management , the greater the creative possibilities.
Among other things, creativity is the ability to recompose or rearm novelly the information available . This process is not necessarily fully aware, and does not necessarily occur in an orderly manner.
Creativity relies heavily on the unconscious and mental processes that at first glance could be mysterious, but that end up manifesting in the conscious mind. Surrealism artists , for example, believed that sleeping was the best way to foster creativity, and tried to regain the potential of dreams in their works.
Thus, in broad strokes, creative thinking is expected:
- That produces new perspectives and ways of thinking, questioning ideas, associating ideas, mixing ideas, etc.
- That offers revolutionary solutions to an established problem.
- To fully develop the content of new ideas and be able to anticipate their conclusions and / or applications.
It is usual to link creative thinking to the arts and aesthetic work, but it is also found in technological innovation , in the scientific field and even in everyday life issues.
Phases of the creative process
Every creative process takes place in four distinct stages, which are:
- Preparation or investigation . As the name implies, this is the preparatory stage of the project, in which the basic information regarding the matter of interest is collected and the mental state conducive to the original ideas is acquired. This can happen quickly or gradually, and is equivalent to the sowing of the seeds of creativity.
- Incubation . Once the necessary information has been collected and the necessary mental state has been acquired, creativity continues its march in a less obvious way, linked to the unconscious and the imperceptible, in which no effort is apparently made. This is incubation, the process of germination of ideas.
- Lighting . The very name of this stage suggests what eventually happens: a flash, a vision, a manifestation in the imagination of the original idea as a result of the previous stages, and that is associated with the very birth of the idea.
- Verification . At this stage there is a return to conscious work, now under the paradigms of a new idea that one has, and that will require conscious efforts to materialize.
Examples of creative thinking
They can be examples of creative thinking:
- Works of art and aesthetic representations: paintings , stories, poems , songs, dances , plays, etc.
- The original recipes : gastronomic, ingredients manufacturing, materials manufacturing, etc.
- Scientific solutions : mathematical theorems, revolutionary ideas, innovative perspectives, etc.
- Fantasies , dreams and even children’s games.
Critical thinking and creative thinking
It is often thought that critical thinking and creative thinking are antagonistic, that is, they are moving in opposite directions. This is because creative thinking is divergent, that is, it is enhanced in dispersion and in the unconscious approach to ideas.
On the contrary, critical thinking requires a focus on the object analyzed and the application of analytical and rational methods. That is, one breaks the rules and the other follows them to the letter .
However, both ways of thinking are complementary , constituting two approaches to the real at our disposal. When the reasoning does not come up with the solution, it is often because very little intuition and creativity are being incorporated , and vice versa.