Convergent Thinking - Deepstash

Convergent Thinking

Is the ability to take many pieces of information or data and generate one solution. 

It is largely taught and encouraged in schools and workplaces.

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MORE IDEAS FROM Divergent Thinking: The Mental Muscle Behind Consistent Creativity | Nick Wignall

Is the ability to generate many ideas or solutions from a single idea or piece of information. 

It’s thought to be one of, if not the most, important factor in creativity.

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Exercising Divergent Thinking
  1. The Many Uses Exercise: Pick an ordinary object, set a timer for 5 minutes and try to come up with as many alternative uses for a paperclip as you can.
  2. 10 New Ideas: Every day for a week, try to come up with 10 new ideas within a specific topic or category.
  3. Daily Headlines: Imagine that your day was a news story in the New York Times. What would the headline be? 
  4. Articles on Trial: Challenge the conclusion of articles you read by coming up with one question you’d like to ask the author.
  5. Start to notice your automatic thoughts and generate alternatives to them.

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It involves the ability to recognize unexpected situations, quickly consider various possible responses, and decide on the best one.

It means performing well at the highest levels, by having the ability not only to think well but to think flexibly and quickly.

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1. Go for a walk

One 2014 study found that people tend to be more creative when they are walking rather than when they are sitting down.

  • Previous research has shown that regular physical activity can play an important role in boosting and protecting cognitive abilities, but this study found that a simple walk could temporarily improve certain types of thinking.

So if you are tied to a desk and struggling to come up with a good idea, try going for a quick walk to see if inspiration might strike.

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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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