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3 Modes Of Thinking: Lateral, Divergent, and; Convergent

A fundamental element of humanity is our capacity for serious belief and imaginative creativity. It appears as though our capability and choice to do so repeatedly in some ways define us as kinds.

Furthermore, it is not a tremendous leap to assert that the ability and proclivity to think critically, thoughtfully, and imaginatively are more important than topic knowledge, but that is a discussion for another day.

3 Modes Of Thinking: Lateral, Divergent & Convergent Thought

1. Convergent Thinking

Summary: Using logic

Wikipedia Excerpt & Overview

‘Convergent thinking is a term coined by Joy Paul Guilford’ (who also coined the term for the ‘opposite’ way of thinking, ‘Divergent Thinking’).

‘It generally means the ability to give the “correct” answer to standard questions that do not require significant creativity, for instance in most tasks in school and on standardized multiple-choice tests for intelligence.

Convergent thinking is frequently utilised alongside divergent thinking. Convergent thinking is a way of thinking that is oriented around the goal of developing a single, well-established solution to a problem. Convergent thinking is a technique for problem-solving creativity. When an individual applies critical thinking to a situation, they intentionally form conclusions based on standards or probability. This is in contrast to divergent thinking, which defers judgement in favour of exploring and accepting a variety of viable solutions.’

2. Divergent Thinking

Summary: Using imagination

Also called: Creative Thinking or Horizontal Thinking

Wikipedia Excerpt & Overview

‘Divergent thinking is a thought process or method used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. It is often used in conjunction with its cognitive colleague, convergent thinking, which follows a particular set of logical steps to arrive at one solution, which in some cases is a ‘correct’ solution. By contrast, divergent thinking typically occurs in a spontaneous, free-flowing, ‘

By contrast, divergent thinking generally occurs in a spontaneous, free-flowing, ‘non-linear’ fashion, resulting in the generation of several ideas through emergent cognitive processes. Numerous alternative solutions are investigated in a short period of time, and unexpected connections are made. After the process of divergent thinking is complete, convergent thinking is used to organise and arrange thoughts and information.’

3. Lateral Thinking

Summary: Using both Convergent and Divergent Thinking

Also called: ‘Thinking Outside the Box’

Wikipedia Excerpt & Overview

‘Lateral thinking is solving problems through an indirect and creative approach, using reasoning that is not immediately obvious and involving ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic.

To grasp lateral thinking, it is important to make a comparison between it and critical thinking. Critical thinking is preoccupied with determining the truthfulness of statements and identifying mistakes. Lateral thinking is more concerned with a statement’s or idea’s “movement value.” A person uses lateral thinking to progress from one well-known concept to the generation of new ones.’

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