John C. Houtz, Professor of Educational Psychology, Fordham University, Graduate School of Education
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The Something About Myself (SAM) and What Kind of Person Are You (WKOPAY) instruments are self-report inventories/checklists designed to assess an individual's self perception of creativity (Khatena & Torrance, 1976). Together, these two instruments make up Khatena and Torrance's (1976) Creative Perception Inventory. The SAM asks individuals to check-off activities which they have engaged in which might be indicative of creative potential. Items include such things as having hobbies, taking trips, writing a poem or a play, inventing something, etc. Other items on the SAM ask individuals to agree or disagree with certain self-descriptors, such as "I am talented in many different ways" or "I am resourceful". The WKOPAY asks individuals to check personality traits or characteristics which they feel typify their own behavior.
These instruments are based on the work of E. Paul Torrance, Joseph Khatena, and the accumulated literature about the personality characteristics of creative persons. Much of this literature consists of the results of personality tests administered to individuals identified as creative in various domains or disciplines or non-creative individuals. There also is a large literature based on biographical and historical study of the lives of well-known, creative persons.
Khatena, J. (1971). Something about myself: A brief screening device for identifying creatively gifted children and adults. Gifted Child Quarterly, 15, 262-266.
Khatena, J. & Morse, D. (1994). Khatena-Morse Multitalent Perception Inventory. Bensenville, Il: Scholastic Test Service, Inc.
Khatena, J. & Torrance, E.P. (1976). Khatena-Torrance Creative Perception Inventory. Chicago, Il: Stoelting Company.
MYERS-BRIGGS TYPE INDICATOR (MBTI)
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) (Briggs & Myers, 1976; Myers & McCaulley, 1985) is a self-report measure designed to assess individuals' preference for different types of information processing. From nearly 300 forced choice items, individuals are rated on four dimensions: introversion-extraversion (I vs. E), sensing-intuitive (S vs. N), thinking-feeling (T vs. F), and judging-perceiving (J vs. P). Thus, there are 16 (2 x 2 x 2 x 2) distinct types. The Myers-Briggs has an extensive following and information to support the teaching/learning process (Kroeger & Thueson, 1988; Myers & Myers, 1980), with suggested teaching strategies for each type and sources of conflict among particular types.
The MBTI is based on Jungian psychological theory. There is a considerable body of MBTI literature suggesting a pattern among the four dimensions most closely associated with creativity (introversion, intuitive, thinking, perceiving). A most recent review of research on the MBTI, however, questions the existence of the16 discrete typologies proposed by the theory (Pittenger, 1993). Many recommend using continuous scores on the dimensions rather than the individual typologies to best describe a persons preferences.
Briggs, K. & Myers, I. (1976). The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press
Kroeger, O. & Thueson, J. (1988). Type talk. New York: Dell.
Myers, I. & McCaulley, M. (1985). Manual: A guide to the development and use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
Myers, I. & Myers, P. (1980). Gifts differing. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
Pittenger, D.J. (1993). The utility of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Review of Educational Research , 63, 467-488.
THE CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING PROFILE (CPSP)
Min Basadur and associates have developed the Creative Problem Solving Profile Inventory (CPSP) (Basadur, Graen, & Wakabayashi, 1990), which they claim provides a global and inclusive approach to identifying potentially creative individuals. Individuals are presented with 18 sets of four adjectives. Within each set, individuals rank order the four adjectives as to their appropriateness as descriptive of themselves. The adjectives fall along two orthogonal dimensions. Experiencing vs. thinking is the top-to-bottom, vertical dimension. Ideation vs. evaluation is the right-to-left dimension. The four "quadrants", or personal styles: generator, conceptualizer, optimizer, or implementor (clockwise, with generator being top right).
Basadur's approach is based on the idea that the entire creative problem solving process requires a variety of preferences associated with all four quadrants. Nonetheless, individuals may exhibit clear preferences (fall within one quadrant, for example). The usefulness of the CPSP profile, as with the MBTI and other such instruments, lies in its ability to show individuals more than one point of view, to show strengths as well as areas which may be in need of development.
Basadur, M. (1994). Managing the creative process in organizations. In M. A. Runco (Ed.), Problem finding, problem solving, and creativity (pp. 237-268). Norwood, NJ: Alblex.
Basadur, M. (1997). Organizational development interventions for enhancing creativity in the workplace. Journal of Creative Behavior, 31, 59-72.
Basadur, M., Graen, G., & Wakabayashi, M. (1990). Identifying individual differences in creative problem solving style. Journal of Creative Behavior, 24, 111-131.
THE KIRTON ADAPTION-INNOVATION INVENTORY (KAI)
The Kirton Adaption--Innovation Inventory (KAI) (Kirton, 1976; 1987) has been used to identify two broad styles of problem solvers. Adaptors are individuals who define and approach problems within existing frameworks and structures. "They are resourceful, efficient, organized, and dependable...[They] seem to supply stability, order, and continuity" (Selby, Treffinger, Isaksen, & Powers, 1993, p. 224). On the other hand, innovators "solve problems by creating a new framework...They are original, energetic, individualistic, spontaneous, and insightful." (Selby, et al., p. 224).
The KAI also provides three subscores, on Sufficiency of Originality (Lets have one good idea vs. Lets generate many ideas), Efficiency (Broad strokes vs. Attention to follow-up details), and Rule Conformity (Lets go by the book vs. Lets ignore the rules).
The key point of Kirtons work is that creativity (that is, new and useful solutions to problems) can come about for both adaptors and innovators. The stereotype of creativity equated with innovation is inappropriate. Adaptors are creative in different ways. They are not uncreative.
Kirton, M. (1976). Adaptors and innovators: A description and measure. Journal of Applied Psychology, 61, 622-629.
Kirton, M. (1987). Adaptors and innovators: Cognitive style and personality. In
S. Isaksen (Ed.), Frontiers of creativity research: Beyond the basics (pp. 282-304). Buffalo, NY: Bearly Limited.
Selby, E.C., Treffinger,
D.J., Isaksen, S.G., & Powers, S.V. (1993). Use of the Kirton Adaption--Innovation
Inventory with MIddle School Students. Journal of Creative Behavior,
THE PRODUCTIVITY ENVIRONMENTAL PREFERENCE SURVEY (PEPS)
The Productivity Environmental Preference Survey (PEPS), for adults, and the Learning Style Inventory (LSI), for children, are designed to assess individual learning styles. Both instruments provide a profile across 20 types of stimuli, arranged into the categories of environmental (preference for noise, light, temperature, and design of the workspace), emotional (motivation, persistence, responsibility, structure), sociological (prefers to work alone, with peers, with adult presence, or varied settings), physiological, (visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic modes, intake of food or drink, time of day, mobility), and psychological (global vs. analytic, hemisphericity, impulsive vs. reflective).
The thesis of the work of Rita and Kenneth Dunn, and their colleagues, is that learning will be easier for children and adults in situations and on tasks which match their individual preferences, or styles, for working and processing information. Many people have no clear preferences and can adapt to a wide variety of stimuli in the learning environment. However, some people have developed clear preferences and their performance can be aided (or impeded) by complementary (or contradictory) characteristics of the learning environment.
Dunn, R., & Dunn, K. (1977). Teaching students through their individual learning styles: A practical approach. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Dunn, R., Dunn, R., & Treffinger, D. (1992). Bringing out the giftedness in your child: Nurturing every childs unique strengths, talents, and potential. New York: John Wiley.
A. ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS IN THE IMMEDIATE PERSONAL, SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT AND IN THE LARGER CULTURAL CONTEXT
B. TRAINING, DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS BOTH INDIVIDUALLY AND WITHIN THE LARGER CULTURE AND/OR ORGANIZATIONAL ENVIRONMENT
C. SUPPORT SYSTEMS
The Nature--Nurture Debate and Creativity
As you can imagine, there is great interest in what factors lead to a person be or become creative. Are creative forces innate? Are they environmental? There is suggestive evidence on both sides of the naturenurture debate:
A. Biological Factors and Creativity
- 1. Creative talents can run in families
- 2. Personality and styles can exhibit themselves shortly after birth
- 3. Integration of the brain hemispheres
B. Evidence for Environmental, Cultural Influences
- 1. Birth orders and family constellation
- 2. Torrance and the fourth-grade slumps
- 3. Torrance and cross cultural research: What is honored in a culture will be cultivated there
- 4. Creative persons report unhappy childhoods, challenges to overcome; also early encouragement, mentors
- 5. Training programs improve scores
- 6. Creative climates in workplace and classroom make a difference
C. Confounding Issues
- 1.Biological factors more important for understanding the super genius
- 2. Environmental factors influence for all (super and averagecreativeness)
Effects of Evaluation (Including Feedback) as a Form of Extrinsic Motivation on Creativity
- Evaluation: Feedback about task performance, surveillance, expectation of feedback or evaluation, rewards, sanctions, punishments, etc.
- Heuristic task: An open-ended, poorly defined task, with multiple possibilities and criteria for success
- Algorithmic task: A task with a clear goal, clear method, clear criteria for success
- Extrinsic motivation: An externally imposed or available reward or incentive
- Intrinsic motivation: A natural desire, interest, or inclination to pursue a task for its own sake and enjoyment
- Controlling value: Incentives or rewards (feedback or other forms of evaluation) that serve to limit choices or behaviors
- Informational value: Incentives or rewards that provide useful alternatives, ideas, or relevant directions that enable the problem solving process to continue
Amabiles Deductions and Transformations:
- Intrinsic motivation enhances creativity whereas extrinsic motivation inhibits creativity; intrinsic motivation is reduced by extrinsic motivation.
- Then, since evidence exists that external rewards can increase creativity test scores, a distinction is made between heuristic and algorithmic creativity tasks; extrinsic motivation can positively affect algorithmic tasks, but not heuristic ones.
- Then, the mechanism by which extrinsic motivation negatively affects creativity is supposed to be the concomitant reduction in self-perceptions of competence, self-esteem, increases in self-doubt, decreases in initiative, courage, risk-taking behavior, etc. These are the controlling aspects of feedback or rewards.
- Then, extrinsic motivation can be a positive influence, even if it is negative reward or feedback, if the informational value of the reward or feedback does not suggest personal incompetence, but rather provides useful ideas or knowledge that serve to spur on the creative process.
- Extrinsic motivation can enhance creativity if it is enabling of the process and initial levels of intrinsic motivation are high. Enabling means being supporting of autonomy, competence, and personal control.
Amabiles Old and New Models
The Old Componential Model:
- Domain-relevant skills (knowledge, technical skill, and talent)
- Creativity skills (cognitive and work styles, idea generation, manipulation, and evaluation skills--heuristics). NOTE: This is where the CPS model of CEF and Treffinger and other efforts at creativity training are directed.
- Motivation (attitudes towards the task and ones own perceptions of motivation for work)
The New Model of the Creative Problem-Solving Process
- Problem Presentation (external or internal stimulus) is affected bymotivation
- Preparation Activities (research, data gathering, formal education) is affected by domain-relevant skills
- Response Generation is affected by both motivation and creativity-relevant skills
- Response Validation (evaluation, judgment) is affected by domain-relevant skills
The Creativogenic Society
Arieti, S. (1970). Creativity: The magic synthesis. New York: Basic Books.
The Creativogenic Society:
- Has available to its citizens the means of creative expression, including physical resources,
- Is open to cultural stimuli, that is, people want new ideas,
- Stresses the process of becoming, not being,
- Has free access to cultural media, without discrimination,
- Offers freedom (or even moderate discrimination) after severe oppression or absolute exclusion of some individuals or groups,
- Is exposed to different and contrasting cultural stimuli
- Is tolerant of diverging views,
- Provides opportunities for significant individuals to interact,
- Promotes incentives and rewardsBARRIERS TO CREATIVE THINKING
- 1. Difficulty in isolating the problem
- 2. Difficulty caused by narrowing the problem too much (How can you make four nines equal one hundred? Do anything you want to with the nines.)
- 3 .Inability to define relevant terms
- 4. Failure to use all of the senses in observing
- 5. Difficulty in seeing remote relationships
- 6. Difficulty in not investigating the obvious
- 7. Failure to distinguish cause and effect
- 8. Desire to conform to a pre-existing or accepted pattern
- 9. Overemphasis on the practical or economical
- 10. Being too polite
- 11. Too much competition or cooperation
- 12. Too much faith in statistics
- 13. Overgeneralization
- 14. Too much emphasis on reason or logic
- 15. An "all-or-nothing" attitude
- 16. Too much or too little knowledge
- 17. Belief that indulging in fantasy is worthless
- 18. Fear of being wrong
- 19. Grabbing the first idea that comes along
- 20. Rigidity of thinking
- 21. Overmotivation to succeed quickly
- 22. Desire for security
- 23. Fear of supervision or distrust of colleagues and subordinates
- 24. Lack of drive in carrying a problem through
From: Simberg, A. L. (1964). Creativity at work. Boston, MA: Industrial Education Institute (pp. 41-69). Reprinted in G.A. Davis & J.A. Scott (Eds) (1971). Training creative thinking. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.
OBSTACLES TO CREATIVITY AND PROBLEM SOLVING
"The Nasty Nine"
- 1. Pressure to conform
- 2. Authoritarian attitudes
- 3. Ridicule
- 4. Rigidity of personality
- 5. Overemphasis on external rewards
- 6. Excessive quest for certainty
- 7. Overemphasis on success
- 8. Hostility toward divergent personality
- 9. Intolerance of the "play" attitude
From: Hallman, R., (1967). Creativity in the classroom, Journal of Creative Behavior, 1, 325-330
THE CREATIVE ENVIRONMENT
- Chance to fail intelligently
- Open communication, feedback to individuals
- Rewards for new ideas
- Plentiful equipment/supplies for experimentation
- Boat-rocking is permitted
- Sufficient time for creation
- Climate of acceptance
- Opportunities for privacy and sanctuary
- Inquiry rewarded and encouraged
- Peer groups allowed to form
- Encouragement of deep involvement
- Non-punitive atmosphere
- Enthusiasm for ideas shown
- Tolerance of complexity and disorder
- Consideration of multiple hypotheses
- No fear of showing emotions
- Playing with ambiguities and uncertainties permitted
- Encouragement of questioning
- Provision for concrete development of ideas
- Open discussion of problems
- Higher expectations
- Respect for individual's worth
- Valuing of ideas
- Evaluation tied closely to cause and effect
- Chance to practice or experiment without fear of evaluation
- Opportunities to share specialties and for teamwork
Reference: Houtz, J. C. (1990). Environments that support creative thinking. In C. Hedley, J. Houtz, & A. Baratta (Eds.), Cognition, curriculum, and literacy (pp.61-76). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Carl Rogers: "Towards a Theory of Creativity"
From: Rogers, C. (1954). Towards a theory of creativity. ETC: A Review of General Semantics, 11, 249-260.
- Showing curiosity, questioning
- Make predictions, hypotheses
- Conduct experiments
- Showing awareness of problems, possibilities
- Presenting ambiguities, uncertainties, mysteries
- Connecting ideas from different disciplines
Rewarding Creative Behavior
- Making clear that original thinking is expected
- Rewarding question-asking
- Asking for predictions, guesses, possibilities
- Training hypothesis-making and testing
- Practicing elaborating ideas
- Using puzzles or problems as rewards for work
- Suspending judgment
Create a Supportive Environment
- Providing time, resources for extended work
- Looking for honesty and realism
- Stressing divergent thinking
- Varying the modes of communication
- Asking for competing views
- Indulging wishful thinking, playfulness
- Using student-centered, cooperative methods
- Requiring constructive evaluation
- Praising failures for the effort
- Encouraging sense of humor
Reference: Esquivel, G. B. (1995). Teacher behaviors that foster creativity. Educational Psychology Review, 7, 185-202.
Creative Counselors, Teachers, and Administrators
Source: Torrance, E.P. (1962). Guiding creative talent. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
I. Creative counselors should:
- A. Have fused primary and secondary creativeness
- B. Be open, warm
- C. Understand the creative process
- D. Have good contact with reality
- E. Be relatively free of threat
- F. Be tolerant of divergency
- G. Have some training in personal psychotherapy and intuitive thinking
II. Creative teachers should be...
- A. Very sensitive to the needs and potentialities of students
- B. Able to maintain their own uniqueness
- C. Able to maintain good relationships with students
- D. Resourceful, flexible, willing to "get off the beaten track"
III. The creative administrator...
- A. Lets teachers know he/she respects creativity and creative teaching
- B. Uses some regular system for obtaining teachers' ideas
- C. Tolerates disagreement with his/her own ideas
- D. Encourages experimentation
- E. Avoids loading teachers with too many extra duties
- F. Makes it possible to try out new ideas without failure being "fatal"
- G. Avoids overemphasis on teamwork
- H. Makes the school atmosphere an exciting, adventurous one
- I. Holds meetings in which ideas are evaluated honestly
- J. Helps develop sound but exciting ideas from failure experiences
- K. Exposes teachers to creative work of other teachers
- L. Makes it easy for new teachers to generate new ideas and stimulate the staff
- M. Facilitates communication between his/her teachers and teachers elsewhere who are working on related problems
- N. Occasionally questions established concepts and practices
- O. Carries on a continuous program of long-range planning
- P. Recognizes and tries to relieve tension when frustration becomes too severe
- Q. Maintains frequent communication with individual teachers but lets them make most decisions alone
TECHNIQUES OF CREATIVE TEACHING
Source: Hallman, R. (1967). Journal of Creative Behavior, 1, 325-330.
The creative teacher.......
- 1. Provides for self-initiated learning
- 2. Sets up non-authoritarian learning environments
- 3. Encourages pupils to overlearn
- 4. Encourages creative thought processes
- 5. Defers judgment
- 6. Promotes intellectual flexibility
- 7. Encourages self-evaluation of individual progress and achievement
- 8. Helps the student become a more sensitive person
- 9. Knows how to make use of the question
- 10. Provides opportunities for students to manipulate materials, ideas, concepts, tools, and structures
- 11. Assists the student in coping with frustration and failure
- 12. Urges pupils to consider problems as wholesMETHODS FOR FINDING PROBLEMS
- 1. READ WIDELY ON MANY SUBJECTS
- 2. LISTEN TO WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY
- 3. TRY DIFFERENT ROUTINES
- 4. READ DEEPLY ON ONE SUBJECT
- 5. TRAVEL, GO TO MUSEUMS, PLAYS, EVENTS, ETC.
- 6. WRITE FOR DIFFERENT AUDIENCES
- 7. ASK "WHAT-IF" QUESTIONS
- 8. KEEP A DIARY, NOTEBOOKS OF IDEAS, LISTS OF THINGS TO DO
- 9. TAKE A COURSE
- 10. DO EXPERIMENTS
- 11. TRY USING DIFFERENT SENSES
- 12. PLUNGE RIGHT IN
METHODS FOR BETTER UNDERSTANDING PROBLEMS
- 1. WRITE IT DOWN
- 2. DRAW CHARTS OR GRAPHS
- 3. MAKE A TREE-DIAGRAM
- 4. MAKE A MATRIX
- 5. BUILD MODELS
- 6. ASK ANOTHER PERSON TO EXPLAIN IT
- 7. CHECK THE EXPERTS
- 8. READ THE RESEARCH
- 9. LOOK AT THE PARTS
- 10. GET THE FEEL OF IT ALL TOGETHER; LIVE WITH IT
METHODS FOR IDEA FINDING
- 1. Brainstorming and Brainwriting
- 2. Synectics
- 3. Idea Checklists
- 4. Attribute Listing
- 5. Morphological Analysis
- 6. Bionics
- 7. Forced Associations
- 8. ImageryMETHODS FOR SOLUTION FINDING
FOR WELL-DEFINED PROBLEMS
- 1. USING RULES
- 2. WORKING BACKWARDS
- 3. MEANS-ENDS ANALYSIS/ USING SUBGOALS
- 4. HILL-CLIMBING
- 5. CLASSIFICATION OF ACTION SEQUENCES
- 6. INFERENCE-MAKING
- 7. SPLIT-HALF
- 8. CONTRADICTION
FOR ILL-DEFINED PROBLEMS
- 1. RESTATE THE PROBLEM
- 2. GENERALIZE OR SPECIALIZE
- 3. FIND ANALOGIES
- 4. SEEK COLLECTIVE VIEWS
METHODS FOR GAINING ACCEPTANCE OF IDEAS
METHODS FOR EVALUATING ALTERNATIVES
- 1. State pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages
- 2. Debate the implications
METHODS FOR CONVINCING OTHERS
- 1. Adapt to your audience
- 2. Identify the essence of your message
- 3. Plan for contingencies, what ifs
- 4. Give details
- 5. Know the costs
The Tools of Creative Problem Solving
Solving problems typically involves divergent and convergent thinking processes. Problem solvers often cycle back and forth between generating possible ideas or tentative solutions, on the one hand, and evaluating those ideas, testing them to see if they will work or be the best solution from several possible options.
Divergent Thinking Tools (Generating Options)
- 1. Brainstorming
- 2. Braindrawing
- 3. Forced Relationships
- 4. SCAMPER (Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to other uses, Eliminate, Rearrange)
Convergent Thinking Tools (Focusing on a Few Good Ideas)
- 1. Hits and Hot Spots
- 2. Highlighting
- 3. Using an Evaluation Matrix
- 4. ALoU, Advantages, Limitations to be overcome, Unique characteristics)
Some Suggestions for Increasing Your Creative Problem Solving
- A.Make lists...of things that bug you, of unfinished tasks, of things to do, of ideas you have...any time, day or night
- B.Think of alternatives...never stop at just one idea, just one way of doing something
- C.Do something different: reading a different kind of book, visiting a different place, meeting new people, seeing a different kind of movie
- D.Make time in your daily schedule to just think, to incubate, to relax and do nothing; practice meditation, take long walks, etc.
- E. Try drawing or painting, creating music, writing poetry or short stories, taking pictures, acting, etc., to express an idea
- F.Buy different kinds of gifts for birthdays, holidays, etc.
- G.Ask what would happen if the rules were changed
- H.Solve puzzles
- I.Talk to someone about your ideas
- J.Take a course, go to a lecture; get training in CPS
- K.Learn a new dance, practice a new skill
- M.Learn and use a second language
ENHANCING PERSONAL CREATIVITY
Source: Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. New York: Harper/Collins.
A.Curiosity and Interest
- 1. Try to be surprised by something every day.
- 2. Try to surprise at least one person every day.
- 3. Write down each day what surprised you and how you surprised others.
- 4.When something strikes a spark of interest, follow it.
B.Cultivating flow in everyday life
- 1.Wake up in the morning with a specific goal to look forward to.
- 2. If you do anything well, it becomes enjoyable.
- 3.To keep enjoying something, you need to increase its complexity.
C.Habits of strength
- 1.Take charge of your schedule.
- 2.Make time for reflection and relaxation.
- 3.Shape your space.
- 4.Find out what you like and what you hate about life.
- 5.Start doing more of what you love, less of what you hate.
D. Internal Traits
- 1. Develop what you lack.
- 2. Shift often from openness to closure.
- 3. Aim for complexity
E. Application of your creative energy
- 1.Find a way to express what moves you
- 2.Look at problems from as many viewpoints as possible
- 3.Figure out the implications of problems
- 4.Implement the solution
F. Think divergently
- 1.Produce as many ideas as possible
- 2.Have as many different ideas as possible
- 3. Try to produce unlikely ideas
The Creative Spirit
Source: Sternberg, R. J., & Lubart, T. (1995). Defying the crowd: Cultivating creativity in a culture of conformity. New York: The Free Press.
- 1.Redefine problems. Dont just accept what youre told about how to think or act.
- 2.Look for what others dont see. Put things together in ways that others dont; and think about how past experiences, even ones that may initially seem irrelevant, can play a part in your creative endeavors.
- 3. Learn to distinguish your good from your poor ideas, and pay attention to their potential contribution.
- 4.Dont feel that you have to know everything about the domain in which you work before you are able to make a creative contribution.
- 5.Cultivate a legislative, global style.
- 6.Persevere in the face of obstacles, take sensible risks, and be willing to grow.
- 7.Discover and tap into your intrinsic motivations.
- 8.Find or create environments that reward you for what you like to do.
- 9. Resources needed for creativity are interactive, not additive.
- 10.Make a decision about a way of life that fosters creativity.
DEVELOPING A PERSONAL MODEL OF PROBLEM SOLVING
(Combining Divergent and Convergent Processes)
As you saw from Polyas little book, How to Solve It, a useful technique for trying to understand and solve problems is asking questions. Questions help us systematize our thinking. Questions give us guides. They can direct us to seek out information that we need to solve our problem. They also can point us in new directions when we are stumped and think we have no alternatives.
Most often, problem solving is NOT a function of poor intelligence. Its a function of poor thinking. Like many other things in life, we can improve our thinking, with training and practice. If you wish to become a better thinker and problem solver, try to develop your own personal system or model of problem solving. Below is a set of questions hat you might ask yourself when you next face difficult problems. By all means, feel free to modify this listto add, subtract, or change words and phrases. Make it your system.
STEP ONE: ASSESS YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
D 1. WHAT IS MY BACKGROUND AND TRAINING ?
C 2. HOW DOES THIS PROBLEM RELATE TO ME ?
STEP TWO: UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM
D 1. HOW BIG IS THIS PROBLEM ?
C 2. DO I NEED TO REDEFINE (OR LIMIT) THE PROBLEM ?
STEP THREE: DEVELOP A PLAN OF ACTION
D 1. WHAT METHOD SHALL I TRY ?
C 2. WHAT INFORMATION AND RESOURCES DO I NEED ?
STEP FOUR: ACT
D 1. WHAT THINGS MUST I WATCH OUT FOR ?
C 2. HOW CAN I OVERCOME THESE OBSTACLES ?
STEP FIVE: EVALUATION
D 1. WHAT HAVE I MISSED ?
C 2. AM I SATISFIED ?
STEP SIX: COMMUNICATION
D 1. WHAT IS MY AUDIENCE EXPECTING ?
C 2. WHAT IS MY MAIN IDEA ?