It is a type of strategy, capacity and mental disposition that produces ideas and initiatives, new and original solutions . Creative thinking involves understanding, inventing, and creating new associations between what is known and what is learned.

Such synergy allows a meaningful knowledge configuration. In addition, it is strengthened by critical thinking , through appropriation and analog processing strategies, in order to produce new ideas.

Critical thinking, which is based on reasoning, problem solving, and selection among various alternatives, serves creative thinking in an instrumental way.

Characteristics of creative thinking

According to research in neurophysiology , creative thinking appears only after brain activity related to visual processing shuts down. 

This phenomenon corresponds to the moment when a person  closes their eyes or has a lost look. The creative thinking requires deep introspection.

It occurs in the right temporal lobe (above the pinna). In this lobe there is a neuronal outbreak consisting of associations of distant memories and knowledge with present stimuli, giving rise to new ideas. It is the peculiarity of arborescent neuronal functioning.

Creative functioning in the brain

The role of alpha waves in creative thinking has been determined. Using imaging resources , a high activity of alpha waves propagating through gray matter has been detected in the right hemisphere.

The alpha waves are linked to dream states and relaxation. Creative thinking arises in states of enlightenment promoted by alpha activity. Mental associations unfold rapidly; there is a diffuse synergy of thought.

relaxed mind, left to its own devices , encourages creative thinking. Eureka moments arise when you stop thinking about something and the mind wanders beyond rational focus.

It follows then that creation implies that the mind abandons immediate conscious activity and plunges into states of relaxation and holistic concentration.

Traits of people who demonstrate creative thinking

In this sense, people with this type of thinking respond to the following characteristics:

    1. They have the ability to remember ideas, words, phrases, and associations . Due to their mental fluency, they can come up with several ideas or solutions to the same problem.
    2. Creative minds have a lot of flexibility with regard to accumulated knowledge.
    3. Likewise, people are recognized for their originality; they look at problems differently and come up with unusual answers.
  • Creative individuals have great potential in the elaboration of ideas.

Many people can have these skills . However, they do not develop their creativity in an adequate way.

Peculiar traits of creative thinking

The creative process is a multidimensional problem-solving procedure in all areas of knowledge, although it tends to be privileged in the field of artistic creation.

Today it is known that the human brain has two lobes that articulate a rational thought (the left one) and a creative thought (the right one) ; however, their functions and potentialities intersect and feed back. It is known that artists in general have a more active and developed right hemisphere.

Meanwhile, people who work more with analytical thinking (left hemisphere) tend to excel in factual science.

When new unsolvable challenges arise with traditional responses, the need to think differently, to recreate old conceptions or to raise others from scratch , jumps out . And it is that creativity is a universal capacity, which seems to be not only a capacity of artists and scientists, but – to a greater or lesser extent – develops in all human beings.

Importance of creativity

Creativity is so important that without it humanity would not have reached the level of development that it has today. It covers practically all productive activities . The key factors for the development of creativity are the environment and educational conditions.

Creativity arises from the harmony between fact and fantasy , reality and the possible, what is and what could be, eventually.

This begins from a very early age , when the individual begins to be such, a particular being who perceives the world with its details and, at the same time, assembles it holistically, and then reinvents it in his own way.

Geniuses , for example, stand out for their ability to learn and intertwine ideas.

How to stimulate creative thinking?

To stimulate the creative process , one must:

  1. Reject conformity and promote questions rather than define them
  2. Explore an interdisciplinary training that allows “hyperlinks” between various sectors and a comparative vision
  3. Understand that play is a tool or activity inherent to pleasure and creativity.

It is worth saying that this type of thinking demonstrates certain stages, which we describe below.

The stages of creative thinking

Now, scholars of the subject distinguish four stages in the creative process, namely:

  1. The scrutiny or research on the subject of interest
  2. The incubation , which corresponds to the gestation of ideas
  3. The lighting , which is the birth of the idea itself, is the clarifier Flash
  4. The verification , that is the stage of concreting, which needs conscious work.

This thought involves the phases referred to above. Undoubtedly, the basis of any process is knowledge, followed by the factor ” how it is processed ” and ends with the affective component of the subject, what it is and how it feels, the attitude towards what it knows.

Creative thinking cases

There are many examples that can be mentioned:

  • In the field of artistic creation , works of art, call them paintings, drawings, photographs, stories, poems, songs, dances, plays, films, video-creations, among other examples.
  • In the gastronomic area , recipes from renowned chefs are potty creations.
  • In the world of science , the deciphering of the human genetic code was only possible by creative thinking.
  • In mathematics , the theorems and innovative perspectives of quantum physics are due to the human capacity to break paradigms.
  • In the business world and productive work it is highly valued.
  • Particularly in software and hardware creation companies , individuals require high creative capacities to propose new solutions to new and old design problems and efficiency in data processing. Companies like Apple are distinguished by their desire to propose innovative solutions.

Also, we can assert that an invention constitutes a creative endeavor , which only makes sense when it becomes a design. Smartphones, with high-resolution cameras and folding screens, are examples.

To the previous smartphones, innovation is added with the incorporation of folding screens , which also implies the incorporation of new material technologies.

In conclusion

Before closing this article, it should be clarified that critical thinking differs from creative thinking . They are even antagonistic.

  • Critical thinking tries to assess whether the current way of doing something is the right one.
  • Critical questioning is located in the field of judgment.
  • Critical thinking tries to show that something is wrong or lacks something and then tries to improve it, even change it.
  • For his part, the creative operates without the intention of judging; instead seek to be open to other possibilities.
  • Creative thinking is divergent because it acquires greater force in the dispersion and in the unconscious treatment of ideas.
  • Critical thinking focuses on something, focuses its attention on its object of criticism and uses analytical and rational methods.

However, both ways of thinking are complementary and define two ways of approaching reality. In case the reasoning does not solve the problem, it is because surely little importance is being given to intuition and creativity, and vice versa.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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