Critical Thinking and Creative Problem Solving
Critical thinking and creative problem solving working together can enhance a person’s creative skills. However, if there is not a correct balance between the two, a person may not find the correct resolution. To find the right balance between critical thinking and creative problem solving, one must understand the similarities and differences between the two. This paper will attempt to show those ideas. Critical Thinking
According to Shah (2010) and the American Heritage Dictionary, critical thinking is defined as “The mental process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion” (Para. 1). To help understand critical thinking, I will break the definition into smaller pieces. Conceptualizing is the forming of an idea. Applying and analyzing takes the idea or concept and applies it to the situation, and then the idea is studied or examined. After these first few stages are complete, the last two can take place. Synthesize is combining analogies to form a new product. Evaluation is the stage of appraising the product or information found to determine whether there has been success or failure in reaching a solution. Creative Problem Solving
Many experts have their own unique ideas about creative problem solving. I choose to discuss the Wallas’ model. Wallas believed that most people follow four phases of problem solving: 1) preparing, 2) incubating, 3) illuminating, and 4) verifying. A person will begin to research and gather information about the problem to be solved in the preparation stage. Once the preparation is complete, stage two (the incubation stage) will occur. During this stage, the information is processed in the mind unconsciously. If successful at this stage, then illumination can take place. The illumination stage involves the emergence of a new solution or...