Cognitive science that says creativity is diverging and then CONverging:
“There is never one right answer. To be creative requires divergent thinking (generating many unique ideas) and then convergent thinking (combining those ideas into the best result). . .
All around us are matters of national and international importance that are crying out for creative solutions, from saving the Gulf of Mexico to bringing peace to Afghanistan to delivering health care. Such solutions emerge from a healthy marketplace of ideas, sustained by a populace constantly contributing original ideas and receptive
to the ideas of others. . .
Creativity isn’t about freedom from concrete facts. Rather, fact-finding and deep research are vital stages in the creative process. . . .
The new view is that creativity is part of normal brain function. Some
scholars go further, arguing that lack of creativity–not having loads of it–is the real risk factor. In his research, Runco asks college students, “Think of all the things that could interfere with graduating from college.”
Then he instructs them to pick one of those items and to come up with as many solutions for that problem as possible. This is a classic divergent-convergent creativity challenge. A subset of respondents, like the proverbial Murphy, quickly list every imaginable way things can go wrong. But they demonstrate a complete lack of flexibility in finding creative solutions. It’s this inability to conceive of alternative approaches that leads to despair. Runco’s two questions predict suicide ideation-even when controlling for preexisting levels of depression and anxiety.
In Runco’s subsequent research, those who do better in both problem-finding and problem-solving have better relationships. They are more able to handle stress and overcome the bumps life throws in their way. A similar study of 1,500 middle schoolers found that those high in creative self-efficacy had more confidence about their future and ability to succeed. They were sure that their ability to come up with alternatives would aid them, no matter what problems would arise.”
Frisky cock of the snook to Thinking Parent Paul D. for the research . . .