Creative thinking: what it is, how to measure and increase your potential

There is a category of people whose every idea is unique. They are called creative or creative. Creativity is valued in many aspects of life. In professions such as manager, designer, organizer, creative thinking is one of the main criteria for hiring. The ability to provide unconventional courtship can help you win the affection of your significant other in your personal life; a unique approach to solving many issues allows you to create new technologies and make a huge breakthrough in the scientific world. So what is creative thinking, and how can it be developed?

Creative thinking – a unique approach to solving any situation

Creative thinking in psychology

Creative thinking is the definition of a creative person who is able to think outside the box. This is the ability to look at a situation from a different angle. Creative people, in most cases, are more successful in business, personal life, science, culture and art. Creative thinking can be used in all areas of life. It helps you find a common language with people faster, be a more interesting conversationalist, and brings bright colors to your life, especially when there seems to be no way out.

Psychologists say that it is possible to develop a creative perception of the world at any age. This is especially good for children, since they do not do it under coercion. Nowadays, the development of creativity is approved; more recently, in schools, institutes and other educational institutions, children’s thinking was driven into a certain framework so as not to divide the group into more and less successful.

From birth, a person is capable of thinking and imagining. Not a single living creature on the planet has the ability to bring their ideas to life, except for Homo sapiens. But in some people this ability is developed to a greater extent, in others - to a lesser extent. This is not a problem for those who want to improve themselves and develop. After all, there are many exercises that help you discover your ability to think creatively.

Age characteristics


Children with creative thinking can be distinguished from the general crowd even in kindergarten. They don’t like to perform synchronous, identical movements with everyone else (for example, during morning exercises) and come up with their own.

In the game, they take the initiative because they are simply bursting with ideas on how best to distribute roles and what to place where. However, other guys often don’t understand them, because they think in original images.

Instead of eating an apple for an afternoon snack, they nibble it in such a way as to make some kind of figure.

However, it is not always possible to recognize the creative potential in a little person. They are often secretive, because they are too focused on their inner world and images. Drawing with a plot helps to identify the levels of creative thinking of preschoolers.

Typically, tests to determine the level of creative thinking are carried out in preschool children (5-6 years old), so that the data obtained can be used in the future - when studying at school.

Primary School

From grades 1 to 4, the creative thinking of younger schoolchildren is characterized by the following features:

  • quickly solving educational problems (using non-standard methods);
  • identifying potential in a specific area (music, literature, drawing, modeling);
  • unusual judgments, your own view of the familiar world;
  • refusal to perform template tasks according to the sample;
  • inattention in class.

The main task of teachers and parents at this stage is to recognize the child’s creative potential and direct all efforts to its development. If the moment is missed in elementary school, these abilities may remain unrealized in the future. As psychologists say, this is where humanity loses the most great artists, musicians and poets.

In elementary school, it is also important to separate the “wheat from the chaff.” At this age, many children play out their fantasy and substitution of concepts occurs. Inspired by the tales of their talented child, parents begin to see in him a great writer who in the future will become an unsurpassed science fiction writer. In fact, these are fictions, most often based on computer games and films. There is no creativity or anything unique there. In psychology, imagination (closely related to creative thinking) and fantasy are completely different concepts.

Middle and senior management

In the middle and senior levels, creativity becomes much clearer. Teenagers are already capable of self-determination without the guidance of adults. Those whose creativity is off the scale occupy positions of leaders of various school and youth associations. The generation of unusual ideas, non-standard ways of solving problems and pressing tasks make them the center of everyone's attention. Others begin to express themselves in some narrow specialization - they become real stars of the local theater group or art studio.

At this age stage there are dangers. Closer to the age of 13, on the threshold of the teenage crisis, creative thinking can play a disservice. In an attempt to prove to everyone their adulthood and independence and due to youthful maximalism, such children begin to too clearly and ardently demonstrate their vision of the world - different from others. All this is accompanied by aggression and daring behavior. The support of parents who can direct all this in the right direction is of great importance here.

Why do you need creative thinking?

Divergent thinking - what is it?

Creative thinking is needed in order not to assign oneself the status of a boring, gray person who lives within certain limits. There are quite a lot of people who cannot think creatively. They are mediocre and capable of doing work that has a clear plan of action. As a rule, people who cannot think creatively do not have leadership abilities. They do not know how to negotiate, are not able to open their own business, do not like to fantasize, etc. They are boring, although they may not consider themselves as such. If a person wants to develop spiritually, then creativity plays a big role here too. This ability helps you find meaning in your actions, discover and understand many life values.

A creative thinker is a good leader

Business use

In the age of technology, no business is possible without advertising. Since the market is full of goods and services, it is very difficult to come up with something new to interest the consumer. This is where people with developed creative thinking come into the picture. They are able to offer the product to the buyer in such a way that the latter does not even think about refusing. At the same time, the consumer thinks that he is purchasing a product or service only on the basis of personal considerations. This ability of PR managers and advertising agents is highly valued in business. Many employers are willing to spend a lot of money to buy a valuable employee from a competing company.

It is not at all difficult for people with a non-standard approach to the situation to open their own business, even though all the niches have long been occupied. They see perspective where there seems to be none. I would like to note that such business ideas often have great success, although opening any production with “0” is quite scary if you have no entrepreneurial experience.

Creativity in business allows you to manage a company not according to a template, but by adhering to certain rules and legislation.

Note! It is creativity that allows you to clearly see a problem and recognize all possible ways to solve it. Also, people with extraordinary minds are able to quickly process large amounts of information and solve several problems at the same time.

Tests to identify creativity abilities

J. Guilford test

The pioneering work of assessing creativity was the work of Joy Guilford. He defined the essence of creative thinking in the combination of developed original, new images and thoughts of a person. Other tests developed after him became interpretations of this work.

The Guilford creativity test is based on certain principles:

  • How simply and effectively creativity abilities are revealed in practice, when solving a problem. The number of solutions and answers received in a certain amount of time is taken into account.
  • Switchability or flexibility of answers, transition from one subject to another.
  • Uniqueness of answers.

E. Torrance tests

Another popular method for diagnosing abilities is tests by psychologist Alice Paul Torrance. The study of creativity by E. Thorens represents parts that characterize creativity at the verbal, visual and sound levels.

Torrance tests are performed at a specified time interval. The result obtained is assessed according to certain principles:

  • Execution speed, the number of solutions completed within a certain period of time.
  • Variety of answers.
  • Uniqueness of the proposed solutions.
  • Concretization of ideas and solutions.

E. Torrance's tests were developed in the 60s and are suitable for people of all ages and young children. Torrance tests have been constantly modified and improved, and have many similar variants.

Test E. Tunik

E. Tunik’s test is aimed at determining creativity in adolescents and adults. The test helps to identify a person’s predisposition to the following criteria:

  • Curiosity. An inquisitive person with an interesting character. He is interested in the world around him, is engaged in self-knowledge, loves to think and learn the structure of new things, the mechanisms of work, does interesting work, reads books, learns as much new information as possible.
  • Riskiness. Risk-taking is manifested in defending one’s ideas and thoughts in front of others, is not afraid of the possible negative reaction of people to creativity, and has a strong character. A risk-taker has a goal and goes towards it, despite possible obstacles, is ready for the consequences of mistakes, and is ready to take risks to achieve the final result. Considers the opinions of other people, but does not give in to provocations.
  • Imagination helps a person to come up with new events and things that never existed in reality, to see objects that have no analogues and what is hidden from the eyes of the common man. Imagination contributes to the creation of works of art and literature.
  • Preparedness for difficulties. A person with a complex character studies complex phenomena and objects. He does not look for easy ways to solve assigned problems; he does everything independently, at his own peril and risk. Studying complex things is an integral part of the life of such a person.

Signs of creativity

Logical thinking - what is it and how to develop it in an adult and a child

There are certain signs by which you can recognize the degree of creativity of a person:

  1. Flexibility of thinking;
  2. Fluency;
  3. Availability of non-standard ideas;
  4. The ability to choose the most profitable one from a variety of solutions.

Flexibility of thinking - the ability to reproduce several different options for solving the same problem. When hiring for jobs in large enterprises, there are tests that determine the degree of mental flexibility. For example, two words are given that are completely unrelated to each other. In a fixed amount of time, an applicant for a position must compose sentences where these words will be used and are interconnected in meaning. The more proposals, the more developed creative thinking.

Signs of creativity

Fluency is the ability to process a large number of thoughts in a fixed amount of time. For example, in 3 minutes you need to name professions starting with the second letter of the alphabet. The more definitions, the more fluency a person has, and accordingly, the more valuable the employee.

The presence of non-standard ideas or originality of thinking is important. Even in preschool institutions, psychologists conduct tests with children for originality of thinking. One such test is to ask what a balloon looks like. An adult with standard thinking will answer that while playing with a ball, children and teenagers have a more developed imagination. Some answer that there is a drum and justify that there is a lot of air inside the balloon and the drum. As a rule, it is too early to judge the degree of development of creativity at this age.

The ability to choose the most profitable one from a variety of ideas is a very valued trait in the world of entrepreneurship, since there can be a lot of ideas, but only one will bring the maximum result.

Goals and objectives of the course

In general, the topic of the development of creative thinking can be explored almost indefinitely, finding in it ever new facets and shades. Therefore, we will not try to find the “Holy Grail” for which everything was started, but will point out several, in our opinion, the most important goals worthy of painstaking work on the creative component of your mind.

So, developed creative thinking and imagination will allow you to :

1Think outside the box. Thought patterns and clichés have long lost their relevance and only reduce a person’s effectiveness, no matter what it concerns. Developed creative thinking helps to find unexpected solutions to complex problems, overcome difficulties faster, work more productively, achieve more, and achieve results where others fail.
2Achieve success. Starting a business, saving money, investing, negotiating, public speaking, making deals - everywhere you need a creative approach, because... It is he who makes a person head and shoulders above others, forms his reputation and authority, and helps him become an indispensable member of the team. However, creativity is useful even for a loader in a warehouse or an office manager in a small company.
3Develop intelligence. Most truly creative people have high IQs. This means that the development of creativity has a cumulative effect on the development of intellectual abilities. You become smarter and more erudite, your horizons expand and your knowledge base expands, new neural connections are formed in your brain, which, among other things, has a beneficial effect on your health and even prolongs your life.
4Be interesting. Creative thinking makes a person an interesting interlocutor with whom you can talk on different topics and have an unusual time. A sense of humor, communication skills, and the ability to constructively resolve conflicts also develop. Creative people, like a magnet, differ favorably from ordinary people, attract others and win loyal friends.
5Develop spiritually. Creativity is always going beyond boundaries, and that is why, completely influencing a person’s personality, it makes him spiritual, looking deeper into things, seeing more than others. It’s no wonder that many creative people live in harmony with themselves and the world, clearly understand their mission and purpose, do what they love and draw happiness from every day they live.

Whatever goals you set for yourself, be it purely pragmatic things, such as advancing your career, obtaining a doctorate degree or developing your own business, or something “out of this world”, for example, finding the meaning of life, creating unique objects of art or writing a novel, creative thinking everywhere will only play into your hands and will allow you to get closer to your dream much faster.

However, before you begin to develop creative thinking and creativity, you need to understand what exactly they are. Therefore, we want to continue with a little conversation about the meaning put into these concepts.

Development of creative thinking

Positive thinking - what is it?

Any ability given to a person from birth has the prospect of development. The development of creative thinking occurs in several stages.

Creativity can and should be developed

Stages of development of creative thinking:

  • awakening;
  • imitation;
  • communications;
  • transformation.

The first stage of creativity development occurs in preschool and primary school age; it is unspecialized. The second phase occurs during puberty and is characterized by an emphasis on original creativity. The development of creativity has a maximum rate from the age of a primary school student until the end of adolescence. At these stages, parental support is very important.


CRAFT is a methodology by Vasily Lebedev, which helps to rethink traditional social forms and create new ones.

How it works?

  • Task
    : come up with a concept for the park.

When we come up with an idea, we often immediately focus on the object of the idea: for example, we are faced with the task of developing a park.

Agree, you are immediately tempted to think about what benches to put, what asphalt to lay and what balloons to hang. This means that we will initially create the same park with a set of ordinary items.

In order to find a feature, or more precisely, to arouse interest in the park, let's look at a person's attitude towards it. How does he perceive the park? What should it be like? How will this perception change? And does it need to be changed at all?

  • Return to abstract thinking

To answer this question, we need to take a step back into abstract thinking and begin to think about human motivations and barriers to the park. This will allow us to identify the so-called conflict, on the basis of which we will formulate our idea.

While searching for a motive, it turned out that the park is often used as a first date location. After all, the park has all the possibilities for this: its own Facebook page, its own website, its own employees and the same “benches, ponds, trees.”

All that remains is to “tailor” them to a specific drama, so that it becomes clear why exactly this park is needed. This is how the big idea of ​​a “first date service” and the first park appeared, which helps organize dates with all its resources, from Facebook to the ice cream man.

  • Reveal the idea in every element

The next step is to reveal the big idea in each individual element of communication: benches on which you can sit only tightly huddled together, paths where you need to hold each other’s hands in order to walk along them, a serenading ice cream man, and more.

Exercises for developing creative thinking in adults

In psychology, there are special exercises that are aimed at improving the ability to think creatively. The most common of them are:

  • non-standard approach;
  • online brain simulators;
  • games.

Non-standard approach

The “non-standard approach” exercise has several variations. In the first case, you can select any picture and provide as much information as possible about what is depicted in it. In another case, psychologists recommend reading texts backwards: either from top to bottom, or from right to left. This is not as easy as it seems at first glance. It is known that the right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for creative thinking. To develop this hemisphere, you can use the exercise of mirroring pictures, which is suggested to be done independently.

Online brain simulators

If you have free access to the Internet, improving your creativity will not be difficult anywhere. For these purposes, you can use the time spent on public transport. Using a tablet or phone, you can take online brain simulators or online trainings that are conducted with a certain number of people. Creativity development tasks:

  1. Schulte table;
  2. Anagrams;
  3. Tag;
  4. Gorbov's tables, etc.

Schulte table

Game "White-Maned Horses"

One of the methods for developing creativity is the game “White-Maned Horses,” which is aimed at awakening the imagination. You don't have to spend any money to play this game. If you can spend 30 minutes in nature or fresh air, you can start studying clouds. Each cloud should be characterized, their movement should be observed, the shape of the clouds, their appearance with animals or objects should be compared. At first, the description of the clouds will be quite sparse. But after just a week of daily training, you can write a short story about one cloud.

The development of creative thinking will not be superfluous for anyone. This ability will help you become more successful not only in the world of business, but also in romantic relationships or self-improvement. Considering that its formation occurs at the time of preschool development, and it develops throughout life, it will not be difficult to train it. Today, creative thinking is one of the most sought-after human abilities, excluding the basic ones.


Human creative thinking is the process of getting acquainted with information, processing it and creating new ideas.

In pedagogy, the importance of this type of thinking is noted due to the fact that the individual independently strives to obtain new knowledge and quickly apply it in practice. This applies not only to music and drawing lessons, but also to history, social studies, etc.

In addition, speaking about children with a predisposition to this type of thinking, the importance of having this criterion for learning, as well as socialization, is noted.

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