The more open the question, the more the thought process is “divergent” to arrive at the answer. Divergent thinking is an essential part of creative thinking. Lateral thinking is a combination of the two mentioned above. This is what you would generally describe as “thinking outside the box.” Divergent thinking tests have also been used to predict management creativity. Scratchley and Hakstian (2000-2001) used a series of divergent mind tests designed for industrial environments, including three components: the brainstorming exercise, which requires finding many solutions to a management problem; the similarity exercise, in which many similarities are found between two different objects; and the exercise of association, which consists of finding a word that connects three unequal words. They also used other measurements, including an intelligence and openness test. The criterion included a measure of overall change and incremental criteria, as well as a measure of management creativity, both of which were domain-specific measures. The composition of divergent thinking was correlated (both zero order and partial correlations) with the measurement of global change and the general creativity of management, but not with progressive change. They also showed that a divergent thinking test used with the openness test is valid when workplace criteria are used. Divergent thinking refers to the creative solutions you might find to a problem. This type of thinking allows for more freedom and helps you generate more than one solution by usually using brainstorming as a cognitive method. If exceptionally different thinkers, such as those with ADHD, are asked to perform linear tasks based on concentration (such as studying for exams or writing essays), they may struggle a lot.

This can lead to misdiagnosis and the false impression that they are not “smart” or fit for purpose. In a number of studies using timed presentations, an inverted U performance model has generally been found, with an increase in fluidity and originality until middle age and a gradual decline thereafter. The effects on age decreased or disappeared if the tests were not limited in time. When timed tests were used, but differences in processing speed or working memory were taken into account, age differences were also significantly reduced. Overall, age-related decreases in divergent (time-controlled) performance appear to be due to a decrease in processing speed and an associated decrease in working memory with age. Compared to our initial question at the beginning of this chapter, the pattern of the relationship between age and divergent thinking is largely an inverted U with a prolonged and relatively flat peak or plateau, followed by a late decline. Whatever the difference, converging and divergent thoughts complement each other. Divergent thinking has long been considered an important part of creative problem solving. Testing alternative uses is one of the most popular divergent thinking tasks.

Early EEG results from groundbreaking studies conducted by Colin Martindale distinguished alpha wave activity in terms of engagement in testing from alternative uses of activity in terms of engagement in Remote Associates testing and intelligence testing. These three tasks differ in that performance is a function of dependence on divergent processes from converging processes: while testing alternative uses is generally perceived as a relatively “pure” measure of divergent processes, it is assumed that testing of remote associates depends on both divergent and convergent processes. and intelligence testing depends primarily on convergent processes. Highly creative people showed the greatest variation in the activity of alpha EEG waves between the three tasks. While subjects with low creativity had low EEG alpha in all three tasks, highly creative subjects only had a high EEG alpha while working on testing alternative uses. Since alpha wave activity is an inverse measure of cortical activity, this finding confirms that creativity is associated with task-related variation in cortical function. Whatever test is considered, the rudimentary idea is that abstraction is necessary to create different and original alternatives that belong to mutually exclusive categories. In addition, divergent thought/action is based on idealistic fluidity, but also requires qualitative solutions based on flexibility and originality. Thus, access to different conceptual categories allows the activation of more original ideas.

According to Markovitz (2013), first, an initial global level of divergent thinking determines the degree of abstraction of the method used to generate alternatives, which in turn defines the nature of the categories addressed. Second, divergent thinking expands access to semantically distant categories. The divergent think tank ensures that everyone`s ideas are heard and not rejected without wasting unmistakable thinking on comparisons. Psychologists have found that a high IQ alone does not guarantee creativity. Instead, personality traits that promote divergent thinking are more important. Divergent thinking is found in people with personality traits such as nonconformity, curiosity, risk-taking, and perseverance. [Citation needed] Divergent thought/achievement tests are evaluated in terms of fluidity (number of motor ideas/solutions), flexibility (number of categories, mutually exclusive, complete ideas/motor solutions) and originality (uniqueness or scarcity of ideas or overall evaluation of motor solutions by at least two independent judges). Visual and verbal divergent thinking can also be evaluated in terms of elaboration (number of details provided with ideas). There is evidence of a cohort effect, as the new birth cohorts appear to perform worse on divergent tasks, particularly the Torrance figural test during the period 1974-2008. As this is the opposite effect of the Flynn cohort effect on fluid intelligence, it cannot be explained by changes in fluid capacity between cohorts. In a group context, you can make this part your creative process, or you can delegate each part to team members who fit that type of thinking. A study from the University of Bergen, Norway, looked at the effects of positive and negative mood on divergent thinking.

[3] Nearly two hundred art and psychology students participated by first measuring their moods using an adjective checklist before completing the required tasks. The results showed a clear distinction in performance between individuals with self-reported positive and negative moods: In times of complex problems, a divergent thinker allows for proactive problem solving instead of restrictive problem solving.