What Being a Creative Thinker Means
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What Being a Creative Thinker Means

About Creative Thinkers

A creative thinker often question why things are a certain way, and why can’t they be different. Imaginative people see the world from many perspectives.

Much research has shown that those who are most creative are usually very open to new experiences. People who are open have an ability to learn new things quickly and easily. Obviously, within the range of creativity, there are different skill levels, different ambition levels, and different ways to be creative.

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Creative Thinking

What exactly is creative thinking?

It is hard to say exactly. There have been many theories and studies done on how people think creatively. One well known authority in the field of creative thinking is Edward de Bono, who is known as a great essay writer and the father of lateral thinking. He made many strides in the discovery of creative thinking.

An idea he originated has to do with how we look at things from a different perspective, while ignoring preconceptions and old beliefs. He called this type of thinking as lateral thinking. Lateral thinking is the ability to think out of the box. To be able to generate new concepts and novel ideas by looking at things in a different way. Promoting fresh ideas by looking at things from a different frame of reference is another type of problem solving techniques. Vertical thinking is logical thinking. Lateral thinking is creative thinking.

In the mid 1950’s and 60’s, creativity began to be more extensively researched. In 1967, Dr. Edward De Bono came up with the term lateral thinking. He realized that some people process information in lateral ways by looking at situations from many different angles. Lateral thinking techniques are something that can be learned.

Researchers who have studied creativity, have come to understand that our mind influences our body and our body influences our mind. Our creativity and imagination is also impacted by our environment.
People may have difficulty thinking of new concepts when the ideas are connected to long held beliefs.

Creativity involves doing new things that solve a problem or effectively change how we feel, act, and think. It is about taking a novel approach and seeing things that others don’t. Creativity can also improvise, connect and process unrelated ideas to form something new.

What it Takes to Be Creative

Creative people do not think differently than those who are not as creative. It just seems that they are able to make variations with what they know. It takes some risk and the confidence to possibly fail. Creative people usually have a persistence, when others would give up, they try a different way.

There is a difference between intelligence and creativity. Studies have shown that people with extremely high IQs are often not creative. Studies have also shown that creative people tend to be of average intelligence. In looking at most winners of the Nobel Prize in science, their IQs were below the genius range, only falling between 120 and 140. 

Creativity can be seen in imagination, in exploration, in experimentation, in discovery and in play. Creativity can be developed and enhanced. It is fostered, not necessarily in what is learned, but how is it learned.

If you are not afraid to make mistakes, to go against the norm at times, to break the rules, to think out of the box and  to fiddle around, to be innovative, and inventive you may very well build your creativity muscle. Those lightbulb moments can create insights that blaze a path towards new and exciting things.

The Creativity Process

Creativity often comes about after people take a break that helps us function at our best. Read about Archimede’s light bulb moment by clicking here.

Many researchers who have studied creativity have focused their thinking on what is known as the six P’s.

  • process – studies look at how creative people process their thoughts and information
  • product – scientists look at novelty and ingenuity
  • personality – researchers look at characteristics and traits in areas of the arts, science, math, and business.
  • place – how the environment molds the individual. Less controlled environment helps creativity thrive, as opposed to highly demanding and controlled environments. Other people such as parents, or superiors at work reward creativity differently and can inspire or quell creativity.
  • persuasion – the ability of a creative person to convince others of the uniqueness of their idea and innovation
  • potential – how creativity can flourish

It used to be thought that creativity had to do with being right brained or left brained. But new research makes this theory outdated. Science knows that there are structural differences between the right hemisphere and left hemisphere of the brain. Creativity, it is now believed, has to do with the whole brain, up, down, and the right and left hemispheres.

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