When it comes to problem solving and idea generation, two ways are commonly cited, namely divergent and convergent thinking strategies. In an abundance of enthusiasm generated post-Sputnik 1, the convergent style of thinking was rapidly equated with typical intelligence. On the other hand, divergent thinking was equated with creativity and both were not uncommonly presented as competing or conflicting processes. While divergent thinking was considered to be good, its counterpart was seen as either bad or a necessarily evil considerably exaggerated in business and schools.
Idea Generation: Divergent vs. Convergent Thinking
Divergent thinking - Wikipedia
Convergent and Divergent thinking are like two sides of a coin. They are completely in contrast with each other yet extremely important in our daily lives. For instance, in a standardized aptitude test, a convergent thinker might be able to decide the right answer, but the contemplating mind of a divergent thinker might work against him in the situation. In theory, convergent and divergent thinking are two completely different aspects of thinking. However, they hold more in common than one might realize.
Divergent Thinking: What It Is and How to Develop It
Divergent thinking is a thought process or method used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. It typically occurs in a spontaneous, free-flowing, "non-linear" manner, such that many ideas are generated in an emergent cognitive fashion. Many possible solutions are explored in a short amount of time, and unexpected connections are drawn.
Critical thinking skills are the mental process involved in processing information. They help us with problem solving, decision making, and thinking critically. We use these skills to help us understand the world around us, think critically, solve problems, make logical choices and develop our own values and beliefs. Convergent thinking is the process of coming up with the best answer to a question using our memory, resources around us, or logic. This thinking skill does not require significant creativity or lateral thinking strategies.