Creative Problem Solving - Characteristics


Efforts to establish a connection between intelligence and creative problem solving has been taken many times, but after years of research, psychologists have concluded that creativity is not the same as intelligence. Someone can be much more creative than intelligent, or vice versa without any influence on the other parameter.

With productive thinking, the objective is to create different approaches and consider even the least obvious or likely approaches. Creative problem solving creates a willingness to keep looking for different approaches, even if a promising solution has been found to a problem.

Rigid thinking tends to produce an inability in solving problems because such problem-solving methods rely on the past experiences to be successful. Such problem-solving methods, are thus, called reproductive thinking.

Reproductive Thinking

The main reason for highly productive creative thinkers to create so many rich, varied and divergent ideas is that they look for a new perspective that no one might have considered. The first step of creative problem solving, hence, is to re-visualize a problem in many unique ways. The first few ways of viewing a problem might be too reproductive to come up with unique solutions.

With each different layer of restructuring, the understanding of the problem improves, which brings the thinker to the root of the problem. At this point, a creative thinker abandons all the reproductive thinking steps that stem from their past experiences and re-conceptualizes the problem. Another noted ability of creative thinkers is that they can manage to operate between ambivalent opinions and incompatible subjects.


Edison’s first invention of a light bulb which is the earliest system of lighting involved combining wiring in parallel circuits with high-resistance filaments in his bulbs. The idea of using parallel circuits and resistance wires were two opposite thoughts that did not come to the conventional thinkers of that time, but Edison could see the connection between two incompatible things.

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