Creativity and Thinking

The word “creative” is derived from the Latin word “creare” means “to make” or Greek word “Krainein” means, ” to fulfill”.

Creativity may be defined as the innovative, novel responses and ideas placed into an harmonious whole/form.

Creativity can flourish by two means;

  • Inspiration.
  • Hard work.

Stages in Creative Thinking:

Creativity mainly involves these steps;

  1. Preparation
  2. Incubation
  3. Illumination
  4. Verification
  5. Revision


  1. Preparation: It includes assembling or combining the material and think thoroughly about it.
  2. Incubation: After thinking intensely about the certain problem, the person lets his mind free by putting the problem aside and let its solution incubate in the mind.
  3. Illumination: It also refers to as “insight” when innovative ideas are instantly generated a sudden flash comes to mind when one is brainstorming at it. Scientific innovations are one of the examples.
  4. Verification: Evaluation of the problem to find out whether the solution is correct or not.
  5. Revision:  This involves all or some of the above steps be used in order to reach a solution.

Factors Associated With Creativity

The main factors that may contribute in enhancing creativity are

  1. Divergent thinking (Lateral )
  2. Convergent thinking (Vertical/Linear) 

Creative thinking is going beyond:

  • The obvious
  • The defined
  • The laid out
  • The conventional
  • The common
  • The usual

Creative thinking is: The ability to generate a variety of unusual solutions to a problem

Creative thinking is:

  • Open
  • Original
  • Imaginative
  • Uninhibited
  • Exciting
  • Fulfilling
  • Lateral
  • May be stray and wild at times

Lateral versus Vertical (linear) Thinking

Lateral thinking

  • Finds new ways of looking at things
  • Avoids looking for what is “right” or” wrong”.
  • Analyzes ideas to generate new ideas
  • Considers the irrelevant
  • Progresses by avoiding the obvious

Lateral Thinking – A deliberate process and set of techniques for generating new ideas by changing an individual’s or team’s way of perceiving and interpreting information

 Vertical thinking (or Linear Thinking)

  • Tries to find absolutes
  • Seeks continuity
  • Finds what is right: seeks “yes” or “no” justifications
  • Looks for stability: rejects irrelevant information.
  • Uses established patterns & considers the obvious.

Vertical/Linear thinking – a logical step-by-step process of developing ideas by proceeding continuously from one bit of information to the next.