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Divergent Thinking

Creative thinking is often dichotomized into thinking that is convergent and thinking that is divergent. Of the two, convergent thinking is much simpler to measure and operationalize, whereas the latter, a cognitive process that engenders a variety of novel and unconventional products, has proven far more difficult to model, measure, and predict. To address the complexity of this difficulty, it may be helpful to clarify what divergent thinking is not. By framing a discussion of divergent thinking upon a theoretical delimitation of convergent thinking, one may develop a firmer foundation for a description of cognitive processes that are, by negative comparison, divergent.

The objective of convergent thinking is to generate a conventional, consensually agreed-upon solution to a problem. The problem presents as an initial triggering mechanism ...

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