Thinking can refer to the act of producing thoughts or the process of producing thoughts. In spite of the fact that thought is a fundamental human activity familiar to everyone, there is no generally accepted agreement as to what thought is or how it is created.
Thinking allows humans to make sense of, interpret, represent or model the world they experience, and to make predictions about that world. It is therefore helpful to an organism with needs, objectives, and desires as it makes plans or otherwise attempts to accomplish those goals.
TYPES OF THINKING
(1) Concrete Thinking vs. Abstract Thinking
Concrete thinking refers to the thinking on the surface whereas abstract thinking requires much more analysis and goes deeper. Concrete thinking will only consider the literal meaning while abstract thinking goes deeper than the facts to consider multiple or hidden meanings.
Concrete thinking refers to the process of comprehending and applying factual knowledge. It involves only those things which are visible and obvious allowing any individual to observe and understand. Abstract thinking goes beyond all the visible and present things to find hidden meanings and underlying purpose.
A concrete thinker will look at the flag and only sees specific colors, marking, or symbols that appear on the cloth. An abstract thinker would see the flag as a symbol of a country or organization. They may also see it as a symbol of liberty and freedom.
(2) Convergent thinking vs. Divergent thinking
Convergent thinking involves bringing facts and data together from various sources and then applying logic and knowledge to solve problems or to make informed decisions. Convergent thinking involves putting a number of different pieces or perspectives of a topic back together in some organized, logical manner to find a single answer.
The deductive reasoning that the Sherlock Holmes used in solving mysteries is a good example of convergent thinking. By gathering various bits of information, he was able to put the pieces of a puzzle together and come up with a logical answer to the question of “Who done it?”
Divergent thinking, on the other hand, involves breaking a topic apart to explore its various component parts and then generating new ideas and solutions. Divergent thinking is thinking outwards instead of inward. It is a creative process of developing original and unique ideas and then coming up with a new idea or a solution to a problem.
(3) Analytical Thinking vs. Creative Thinking
Analytical thinking is about breaking information down into its parts and examining those parts their relationship. It involves thinking in a logical, step-by-step manner in order to analyze data, solve problems, make decisions, and/or use information. Creative thinking, on the other hand, refers to conceiving new and innovative ideas by breaking from established thoughts, theories, rules, and procedures. It is not about breaking things down or taking them apart, but rather putting things together in new and imaginative ways.
An analytical thinker may look at a bicycle to determine how it works or what is wrong with it. A creative thinker may look at the same bicycle and think or an new way to make it faster or a new way to use it.
(4) Sequential Thinking vs. Holistic Thinking
Sequential thinking is processing information in orderly prescribed manner. It involves a step-by-step progression where the first step needs to be completed before then second step occurs.
If a = b, and b = c, then a = c
Holistic thinking, on the other hand, is about seeing the big picture and recognize the interconnectedness of various components that form larger systems. It involves expanding your thought process in multiple directions, rather than in one direction, in order to understand how everything connects. Holistic thinkers want to understand the patterns and how thing connect to each other.
When assembling a table, a sequential thinker would follow the step-by-step directions. A holistic thinker would want to see or mentally visualize how the table would look when it is completed.
(5) Critical thinking –
Refers to the ability to exercise careful evaluation or judgment in order to determine the authenticity, accuracy, worth, validity, or value of something. In addition to precise, objective analysis, critical thinking involves synthesis, evaluation, reflection, and reconstruction. And rather than strictly breaking down the information, critical thinking explores other elements that could have an influence on conclusions.
SIX THINKING HATS
Six Thinking Hats was created by Edward de Bono, and published in his 1985 book of the same name.
Often, the best decisions come from changing the way that you think about problems, and examining them from different viewpoints.
“Six Thinking Hats” can help you to look at problems from different perspectives, but one at a time, to avoid confusion from too many angles crowding your thinking.
It’s also a powerful decision-checking technique in group situations, as everyone explores the situation from each perspective at the same time.
The six thinking hats-
- Blue – (Managing) what is the subject? what are we thinking about? what is the goal? Can look at the big picture.
- White – (Information) considering purely what information is available, what are the facts?
- Red – (Emotions) intuitive or instinctive gut reactions or statements of emotional feeling (but not any justification).
- Black – (Discernment) logic applied to identifying reasons to be cautious and conservative. Practical, realistic.
- Yellow – (Optimistic response) logic applied to identifying benefits, seeking harmony. Sees the brighter, sunny side of situations.
- Green – (Creativity) statements of provocation and investigation, seeing where a thought goes. Thinks creatively, outside the box.
A way of looking at problems or situations from a fresh perspective that suggests unorthodox solutions (which may look unsettling at first). Creative thinking can be stimulated both by an unstructured process such as brainstorming, and by a structured process such as lateral thinking.
Some people are naturally more creative than others, but creative thinking can be strengthened with practice. You can practice creative thinking by solving riddles, being aware of (and letting go of) your assumptions, and through play. Play connotes anything unstructured and relaxing such as daydreaming.
Creative people have the ability to devise new ways to carry out tasks, solve problems, and meet challenges.
- Not driven by Ego, the need to be right.
- Solutions oriented, problem-solving oriented.
- Ask questions continually and in different ways to find answers.
- Openness to answers and solutions that are unexpected.
- Mindful, can be present in the moment
- Flexible thinkers. Can think differently. Are not rigid and fixed, not attached to traditional or common thinking.
- Passionate and self-motivated to act on their ideas, concepts and visions.
- Can pull ideas in, old or new.
- Visionary, can picture things in their head.
- Sensitive and sensual. Pays attention to all senses including intution, hunches and gut feelings.
- Can turn negatives into positives
- Can turn mistakes into new and useful things
- Courageous enough to be different, uncommon and weird.
Types of creative thinking-
(1)Evolution: – New idea is totally different.
(2)Revolution: – This is the method of incremental improvement, new ideas means improvement over the old ones.
(3)Synthesis: – What this, two or more existing ideas and combine into new idea.
(4)Reapplication:- Looking at old things with new perspective. ex:-antique
MYTHS ABOUT CREATIVITY-
- Eureka myth:- New ideas sometimes seem to appear as a flash of insight. But research shows that such insights are actually the culminating result of prior hard work on a problem. This thinking is then given time to incubate in the subconscious mind as we connect threads before the ideas pop out as new eureka-like innovations.
- Breed myth:- Many people believe creative ability is a trait inherent in one’s heritage or genes. In fact, the evidence supports just the opposite. There is no such thing as a creative breed. People who have confidence in themselves and work the hardest on a problem are the ones most likely to come up with a creative solution.
- Originality myth:- There’s a long-standing myth about intellectual property — the idea that a creative idea is proprietary to the person who thought of it. But history and empirical research show more evidence that new ideas are actually combinations of older ideas and that sharing those helps generate more innovation.
- Expert myth:- Many companies rely on a technical expert or team of experts to generate a stream of creative ideas. Harder problems call for even more knowledgeable experts. Instead, research suggests that particularly tough problems often require the perspective of an outsider or someone not limited by the knowledge of why something can’t be done.
- Incentive myth:- The expert myth often leads to another myth, which argues that bigger incentives, monetary or otherwise, will increase motivation and hence increase innovation productivity. Incentives can help, but often they do more harm than good, as people learn to game the system.
- Lone Creator myth:- This reflects our tendency to rewrite history to attribute breakthrough inventions and striking creative works to a sole person, ignoring supportive work and collaborative preliminary efforts. Creativity is often a team effort, and recent research into creative teams can help leaders build the perfect creative troupe.
- Brainstorming myth:- Many consultants today preach the concept of brainstorming, or spontaneous group discussions to explore every possible approach, no matter how far-out, to yield creative breakthroughs. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that just “throwing ideas around” consistently produces innovative breakthroughs.
- Cohesive myth:- Believers in this myth want everyone to get along and work happily together to foster innovations. That’s why we see so many “zany” companies where employees play foosball and enjoy free lunches together. In fact, many of the most creative companies have found ways to structure dissent and conflict into their process to better push their employees’ creative limits.
- Constraints myth:- Another popular notion is that constraints hinder our creativity and the most innovative results come from people who have “unlimited” resources. Research shows, however, that creativity loves constraints. Perhaps companies should do just the opposite — intentionally apply limits to leverage the creative potential of their people.
- Mousetrap myth:- Others falsely believe that once we have a new idea, the work is done. But the world won’t beat a path to our door or even find the door to an idea for a better mousetrap, unless we communicate it, market it and find the right customers. We all know of at least one “better mousetrap” that is still hidden.