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Creative problem solving is the mental process of creating a solution to a problem. It is a special form of problem solving in which the solution is independently created rather than learned with assistance. Creative problem solving always involves creativity. However, creativity often does not involve creative problem solving, especially in fields such as music, poetry, and art. Creativity requires newness or novelty as a characteristic of what is created, but creativity does not necessarily imply that what is created has value or is appreciated by other people. To qualify as creative problem solving the solution must either have value, clearly solve the stated problem, or be appreciated by someone for whom the situation improves. The situation prior to the solution does not need to be labeled as a problem. Alternate labels include a challenge, an opportunity, or a situation in which there is room for improvement. Solving school-assigned homework problems does not usually involve creative problem solving because such problems typically have well-known solutions. If a created solution becomes widely used, the solution becomes an innovation and the word innovation also refers to the process of creating that innovation. A widespread and long-lived innovation typically becomes a new tradition. "All innovations [begin] as creative solutions, but not all creative solutions become innovations." Some innovations also qualify as inventions. Inventing is a special kind of creative problem solving in which the created solution qualifies as an invention because it is a useful new object, substance, process, software, or other kind of marketable entity.
|1 Techniques and tools |
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