3 Modes Of Thinking: Lateral, Divergent, and Convergent

Modes Of Thinking – 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.’

Challenges while Thinking

It is critical to provide the creative process with a structure, a framework within which to define your ideas. If you attempt to push ahead too quickly without first laying the framework, the breadth and depth of your solutions will suffer.

The first step is to clearly characterise the issue. To convey the challenge succinctly and plainly. Rejecting the first definitions and delving further into the issue will provide bigger rewards in the following phases. The more you know and comprehend the difficulty, the more ideas for the following phase will begin to flow.

It’s also critical to state the issue in order to comprehend what the remedy may look like. Visualizing the sort of solution and the objectives you intend to accomplish is a necessary step on the path to a solution.

Every act of creativity starts with a question; Why or What-If? By asking several questions, you begin to develop numerous possibilities. This is why optimism and a good attitude are critical at this time, although judgement should be reserved till later. You must spread in all directions without regard for an idea’s legitimacy or prospective efficacy.

Emergent Thinking

At some point throughout the brainstorming process, wholly new ideas and concepts will emerge that are larger than the sum of their parts. By investigating possibilities and producing several ideas, various new thoughts and solutions emerge from the synthesis of those ideas that could not be discovered in isolation.

Emergent thinking occurs when you advance toward previously unknown options that become obvious only via comparison and combination of created thoughts.

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