Creative problem solving that characterizes great accomplishment is based upon “regular” problem-solving skills. Problem solvers need to have extensive detailed knowledge of a subject matter before they begin to solve a problem, because problem solving relies upon application of prior knowledge and expertise. Creative problem solvers do more, however: They apply that extra something that allows them to transcend the past and the ordinary to produce something extraordinary. This is exemplified by NASA's evaluation of problem solving by its employees in Calvin Taylor's study: NASA's lowest evaluation of problem solving was applying existing and prior technologies to find an immediate solution to a problem. Conversely, NASA's highest evaluation of problem solving was producing ideas that lead to major research projects.

Both regular problem solving and creative ...

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