Inherence Bias

How do people judge what is socially good or desirable? One factor is what people consider to be inherent or typical. If something seems inherent or typical, people tend to infer that it is also good or socially desirable. Psychologists Christina Tworek and Andrei Cimpian of University of Illinois at […] Read more »

Hand Clenching for Memory Boost

The previous post discussed how squeezing a rubber ball may temporarily boost creative thinking. There is also a twist on this brain hack that may enhance memory.  A 2013 study by Ruth Propper and her colleagues found that hand clenching may enhance your ability both to remember new ideas as […] Read more »

Squeezing a Rubber Ball May Boost Creative Thinking

Psychological research suggests a simple brain hack for temporarily boosting creativity and all it requires is a rubber ball. The technique itself is extremely simple: all you have to do is squeeze a rubber ball with your left hand as hard as you can for about a minute. An original […] Read more »

When Distancing from the Problem Hurts Creative Thinking

Distancing from the problem, as the previous post discussed, is a solid method for increasing creativity: studies generally show that psychological distance helps with insight and creative generation because it leads to abstract information processing. Although there is little doubt that psychological distance is often invaluable for creative thinking, there […] Read more »

Why Distancing From the Problem Helps Creative Thinking

One of the most widely prescribed creativity recommendations is to increase distance from the problem, for example, by imagining the problem in the distant future or by considering how other people would solve it. This recommendation traditionally circulated in popular creativity books and other similar sources, but over the last […] Read more »

5 Ways to Stimulate Abstract Mindset and Broader Mental Perspectives

Abstract mindset and information processing is very important for creativity, and more broadly for mental flexibility and explorative thinking. The following five techniques are the most basic ways to stimulate abstract mindset and broader perspective on demand: 1. Why Restatements. Why restatements—continuously asking why you need to solve the problem […] Read more »

Why Abstract Representations Enhance Creative Thinking

The last post discussed the dual pathway to creativity, which explains that creative ideas emerge either as a result of detail-oriented thinking and persistence (which gives rises to original ideas within narrower categories) or as a result of cognitive flexibility and mental-set breaking. The flexibility pathway is very dependent on […] Read more »

Dual Pathway to Creativity and the Importance of Detail-Oriented Thinking

Dual pathway to creativity in a nutshell: Although creativity is traditionally equated with intuitive and associative thinking which capitalizes on cognitive flexibility and mental-set breaking, the dual pathway to creativity recognizes an alternative pathway based on detail-oriented and analytical thinking which leads to creative ideas within narrower categories. Creativity in […] Read more »

Procrustean Problem-Solving Bias and the Law of Small Displays

The Procrustean Problem-Solving Bias We often deal with complex problems by simply cutting off some elements of a problem so as to conveniently reduce its complexity. This tendency could be called the Procrustean problem-solving bias. In Greek mythology, Procrustes was a bandit who forced people to fit his arbitrary-sized bed […] Read more »

Psychological Distance & Construal Level Theory

We can mentally represent the same situation more concretely or more abstractly. Level of abstraction, called construal level, has diverse effects on our thinking, including creativity, problem solving, risk taking, analytic evaluations, forecasting of other people’s actions, self-control, decision-making, and other elements of creative and adaptive thinking. Higher level construals allow […] Read more »