Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 18 January 2007

Model 5

The Combined Thought Types Model

There are a number of people and studies that have suggested that creativity is either certain particular types of thinking done unusually intensively or unusual combinations of ordinary types of thinking (see Sinnott in Adams-Price, 1998 on postformal thought types; Allwein and Barwise, 1996). A few less plentiful studies suggest the creativity is the result of special types of thought. The problem with these models, overall, is their technical “technician” cast. Their “types” of thinking tend to be specific ways of generating variants, combining variants, evaluating and selecting them, and propagating them. The drive, fanaticism, motivation, and elan of actual creative people never seem to show up as particular types of such thought. It is striking in the literature how types of thinking are offered (lateral, metaphoric, spiral, buy low sell high, dialectic, and so on) without a single one of those types being something that generates courage, drive, persistent effort or any of the other most obvious differences between creative people and highly intelligent uncreative people. One recent such flawed offering (Root-Bernstein, 1999) suggests observing, imaging, abstracting, pattern recognizing, pattern forming, making analogies, body thinking, empathizing, thinking in dimensions, modeling, playing, transforming, and synthesizing. It is hard to find morale, drive, persistence, dogged determination, courage, immense productivity, countering conventions, in any of those types of thought. This is surely a blind spot, either in these types of models or in our repertoires of types of thinking.

The form of this model, therefore, presented here includes types of thinking for various fundamental dimensions of being creative–novelty, non-conformism, ruthless opportunism, persistent effort, and so forth. These types are much broader than the lists usual in the literature which have a narrow technocratic bias, as if being creative were problem solving or clever thinking. Edison is a great example. Light bulb material 9999 failed and he tried material 10,000–what type of thinking was involved in that persistence of effort? It was probably nothing the least bit technocratic or clever.


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