Divergent thinking has been used for many years as a measure of creative potential.
Divergent thinking has been recognized since the psychologist J.P.Guilford’s work. This process is defined as the ability to produce a diversity of responses to an open-ended problem (Runco, 1991). The American psychologist Ellis Paul Torrance suggested that fluency, flexibility and originality should be criteria to interpret the divergent thinking potential of an individual. He stated that the interaction of these aspects is strongly related to the creative performance (as cited in Runco, 1991). The aim of divergent thinking during the creative process is to generate many different ideas about a specific topic. When we are engaged with this process, our mind stretches to explore all possible options beyond the familiar and known without making a judgment (Puccio, Mance, Switalsky & Reali, 2012).
In order to successfully apply divergent and convergent thinking in the creative process, it is essential to follow a set of principles that help people to improve their abilities to utilize these thinking processes. According to Puccio (2011), “For individuals, these principles have the power to change thinking and, thus, behavior. Once internalized these same principles help to transform an individual into an active thinker.”
By Ana Castelan
Runco, M. A. (1991). Divergent thinking. Norwood, N.J: Norwood.
Puccio, G. J., Murdock, M. & Mance, M. (2007). Creative leadership: Skills that drive change. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications.
Mance, M., Switalski, L. B., Reali, P. D., Puccio, G. J., & State University College at Buffalo. Center for Studies in Creativity. (2012). Creativity rising: Creative thinking and creative problem solving in the 21st century. Buffalo, N.Y.: ICSC Press, International Center for Studies in Creativity.