4 ways to creatively find a Solution
As truly said by Michalko, Creativity is something different from intelligence, and as a parallel construct to intelligence, but it differs from intelligence in that it is not restricted to cognitive behavior. Instead, it is concerned with a complex mix of motivational conditions, personality factors, environmental factors, chance factors and even products.
While studying about the process of creativity, researchers supposed creativity as an extraordinary result of ordinary processes. And the process of creativity includes the following characteristics:
- Imaginative: This includes generating something like ideas, products out of your creative thinking.
- Purposeful: This includes creating something that serves a purpose.
- Original: This involves creating something that’s novel, unexpected and belong only to you.
- Valuable: This means it has noticeable value with reference to its objective it was used for.
Don’t you find yourself being creative all the time while solving any problem of your life or others? So, will all that be considered under one common roof of creativity? No! There are 4 C’s of Creativity which define creativity given by Arne Dietrich.
- Deliberate and Cognitive Creativity
People with this creativity are highly productive for the society. They combine their skills, knowledge and talents to reach the final state of a problem. They invest a lot of their time and energy to get the desired results.
- Deliberate and Emotional Creativity
People with Deliberate and Emotional Creativity are highly sensitive and emotional yet are practical and rational too. They prefer doing things by themselves and have “A-ha moments” which helps them achieve their desired goals.
- Spontaneous Cognitive Creativity
This type of creativity depends on unconscious mind rather than conscious mind. The solution comes to the person on its own when he indulges in different and unrelated activities. These people wait for their “Eureka moments” by taking a break from that particular problem.
- Spontaneous and Emotional Creativity
This skill cannot be developed. It is related to “Epiphanies” which means sudden realization. This is found in great artists who have their rare moments when they discover something unexpected.
When you talk about problem solving, the aim of the operator or the person is to remove or overcome the hurdles that come in the way from an original state (initial state of problem) to the goal state (end state of the problem).
According to Gestalt psychologists, problem solving involves the stages of creative thinking as given by Graham Wallas (1926): Preparation, Incubation, Illumination, and Verification. These stages more or less align with the 4 stages of Problem Solving given by Polya.
Stage 1: Define the Problem
This stage involves defining or identifying the nature, attribute and type of problem. The problem can be well-defined or ill-defined, problems of inducing structure, transformation, or arrangement. Before looking for alternatives, you need to identify the type of problem.
Well-defined Problems are the ones with defined initial state, goal state, operators, and rules. Ill-defined Problems are the ones with no defined initial state, goal state, operators, and rules.
Apart from these, the operator needs to find the link and arrangement between various elements of problem, also figure out the sequence of operations to reach the goal state from the initial state.
Stage 2: Devise a plan for Solution
This step involves deep thinking to find different solutions for the problem. While Graham Wallas emphasized that the thinker shouldn’t work directly on the problem but let the problem get into his unconscious mind which would even help him to reframe the question.
Stage 3: Execution of the plan
At this stage, the operator is expected to have found new insights for the problem along with a number of solutions. Now, it’s time to implement the chosen solution.
Stage 4: Evaluation of the results
This is the final and last step of problem solving which focuses on looking back. This involves going through the question, checking on the selected solution, make some modifications, if needed. Basically, it’s like proofreading of the whole process just to be sure and confident about the decision being made.
Make a Note
Although problem solving involves step wise decision making, creatively selecting the solutions, gathering all the needed information but still an operator needs to know that there are certain factors which affect Problem Solving.
- The size of the problem, difficulty level of the problem, initial state and final state of the problem.
- Difference between initial and final state of a problem. Greater difference needs more steps to solve a problem as compared to a problem which is frequently experienced by the operator.
- The perceiver’ set which involves the perception of the operator about how to respond to a particular problem has a huge effect on the process of problem solving.
- Functional fixedness refers to the stereotypes about any problem or situation. This can be taken as the mindset which the operator has while he experiences a problem.
You all are already solving your everyday life-problems without even noticing that you are doing it. But don’t you think solving a problem creatively will help you boost your confidence, enthusiasm and feel accountable. It’s better to take charge of your life rather than to criticize it every moment.