Beyond facts: divergent thinking - Deepstash

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Convergent  and divergent thinking

Convergent and divergent thinking

  • Convergent thinking. When we want to solve a problem, we tend to look for useful facts to guide us to the correct answer. This type of thinking works well when the problem is straightforward and requires a reasonable solution.
  • Divergent thinking. For more complex problems, focusing on facts to get a specific answer may be too narrow. Divergent thinking, where we explore many ideas, can create unexpected connections that lead to interesting solutions.

Convergent thinking is based on prior knowledge, while divergent thinking is based on imagination.

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Divergent thinking and playfulness

Research found that divergent thinking is linked to playfulness and creativity.

Children who play more tend to display curiosity, persistence, nonconformity, and a willingness to take risks. These are important characteristics for innovative solutions.

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Divergent thinking can be practiced

  • Mind mapping helps your brain work by association. Start in the centre and add notes, connecting branches together.
  • Brainstorming. Generate as many ideas as possible.
  • Free writing. Focus on the question and write without stopping for a specified time.
  • Journaling. It helps to clarify your thinking while producing new ideas.
  • Art. Doodling, painting, creating graphs and illustrations will help you think outside the box.
  • Role playing. Putting yourself in the shoes of a different character is a good way to practice divergent thinking.

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