Why Distancing From the Problem Improves Creativity

One of the most widely prescribed creativity recommendations is to increase distance from the problem, for example, by imagining the problem in the distant future or by considering how other people would solve it....

5 Ways to Stimulate Broader Mental Representations

Abstract mindset and information processing is very important for creativity, and more broadly for mental flexibility and explorative thinking. The following five techniques are the most basic ways to stimulate abstract mindset and broader...

Why Abstract Representations Improve Creativity

The last post discussed the dual pathway to creativity, which explains that creative ideas emerge either as a result of detail-oriented thinking and persistence (which gives rises to original ideas within narrower categories) or...

Creative Ideation Through Analytical Thinking

Creativity in the popular understanding is often juxtaposed with rational and analytical thinking. This was neatly expressed by a French mathematician and theoretical physicist Henri Poincaré when he stated that “it is by logic...

Procrustean Problem-Solving Bias

Procrustean Problem-Solving Bias We often deal with complex problems by simply cutting off some elements of a problem so as to conveniently reduce its complexity. This tendency could be called the Procrustean problem-solving bias. In Greek...

What is Psychological Distance

We can mentally represent the same situation more concretely or more abstractly. Level of abstraction, called construal level, has diverse effects on our thinking, including creativity, problem solving, risk taking, analytic evaluations, forecasting of...

How Psychological Priming Affects Thinking

Psychological priming explains how our environments influence our thinking. Smart priming can enhance all sorts of thinking from simple creativity to high-level strategic thinking. Conversely, unfavorable priming can noticeably damage our thinking. Priming helps to understand, for example, why sometimes it may be a very bad idea to make decisions when you’re in a company of certain people. For instance, critical and careful decisions might be derailed merely because of people or surroundings that would prime you with irresponsibility and thoughtlessness.