Synectics, described in this entry, belongs to a broad set of techniques that help users produce new ideas and new idea combinations as part of creative thinking or problem solving. It is an approach for generating ideas through use of unusual connections uncovered in metaphor and analogy. One explanation of the term synectics is that it comes from the Greek syn, which means to bring together, and ectos, or external things. Consequently, the idea of synectics is to join different and often diverse items in ways that explore or solve a problem. To use a synectics approach to a problem, the individuals involved identify a problem owner and use direct, personal, fantastic, or symbolic analogies to develop insights into creative solutions. These are then ...

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