Thinking and Reasoning

Creative thinking is a mental process that usually produces a novel solution to a problem. This illustration suggests the types of mental image that may be formed by two different thinking processes - conventional and creative. The initial problem consists of finding alternative ways of using three rectangles, each of which is made up from three small triangles. These images show how conventional thinking might handle the problem. The three basic rectangular shapes are kept and are only arranged in different sequences, thus limiting the number of possible combinations and, therefore, the number of solutions. This shows the succession of mental images that might be produced by using a creative thinking process. The first stage would be to reduce the rectangles to their basic units, small triangles. Then the shapes might be rearranged into three larger triangles. This results in a completely new solution. It is not known exactly how mental strategies differ in conventional thinking and creative thinking, but the quality of creativity can be measured by the end result.

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